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Cerebral spinal fluid leaks signal danger for patients

The skull is a bone much like others in the body. There's a potential for it to break or crack on impact, which could have further consequences. Head trauma doesn't always involve a broken skull, but when it does, it's of the utmost importance to do all you can to get an accurate diagnosis.

Cracks or breaks in the skull may or may not break the skin. You may be unaware that the bone has broken, since the surface shows only bruising. Skull fractures tend to present with bruising around the eyes, swelling, tenderness and deformities. In severe cases, fluid may leak from the nose or ear, indicating that brain fluid is escaping through the fracture.

What is a Cerebral Spinal Fluid leak?

Spinal fluid leaks are incredibly dangerous. The fluids may leak from the ears or nose, depending on where the crack in the skull is.

Symptoms of this serious condition include leaks from the nose and ears, hearing loss, vision changes and headaches. Drainage may increase with movement in certain directions, which helps indicate where the crack or damage to the skull is located.

How is a Cerebral Spinal Fluid leak identified?

After serious trauma, any draining from the nose or ears is indicative of a leak. Your doctor may perform an endoscopy or use a CT or MRI scan to identify the location of the damage. You may require immediate surgery in severe cases, but it's also possible to avoid surgery in minor and moderate cases.

Some patients are able to stay on bed rest for several weeks until the bone heals. During that time, they'll need to avoid sneezing, coughing or heavy lifting. Those who require surgery may have a graft placed to stop the leak and begin the healing process.

Cerebral spinal fluid leaks are serious and require immediate attention. If you're in an accident, go to the hospital. Identifying skull fractures early on could help you survive.

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