Aundrea Aragon Almost Died After Brain Fluid Leak Diagnosed As 'Allergies'
By Maria Vultaggio | December 4, 2012 11:30 AM EST
Aundrea Aragon went to the doctor after her nose continued to run for an unusual spell and doctors just told her it was just allergies.
The 35-year-old Tucson, Ariz., mother had been suffering with the drip for months. The clear fluid would stream from her nose any time she bent forward, ABC News reported.
"It wasn't even dripping, it was pouring out of my nose," Aragon told ABC News. "If I looked down or bent over, it would literally pour out of the left side of my nose. I had no control at all."
Worried that there was more going on with her body than just allergies, Aragon sought out a referral to see a specialists at the University of Arizona.
"I was scared to death and desperate," Aragon said, according to a university medical center press release. “I knew it could not be allergies. The fluid would come out like a puddle."
And it turns out she was right: The clear liquid leaking from her nose was cerebrospinal fluid that was dripping through cracks in the back of her sphenoid sinus — and it could have killed her.
This type of leakage also known as CSF rhinorrhea, according to the University of Arizona's Department of Surgery website. It means the fluid that surrounds the brain leaks through the nose, as in Aragon’s case.
The condition is extremely rare, but it can lead to deadly infections like meningitis.
ABC News said Dr. Alexander G. Chiu, chief of Arizona's division of otolaryngology, has treated about 100 CSF cases. The condition can be caused by pressure or traumatic injury, Chiu said, but Aragon's case was "more of a freak thing."
Chiu and a team of surgeons were able to fix the leaks by using an endoscopic procedure, according to the university. It’s a minimally invasive surgery.
According to the Examiner, she is recovering at home with her three children.
"I am so grateful to [the UA surgeons] for everything they have done for us," Aragon reportedly wrote on Facebook. “I had great care from a great staff. I’m here, and I am grateful I can take care of my kids."
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