Greg Phillpotts endured five years with a constantly runny nose with no end in sight, and doctors suggesting it could be allergies but offering no solutions.
When he finally found a doctor who determined the source of the leak, it was a shock — Greg’s brain fluid was actually leaking from his nose.
Phillpotts opened up about his strange medical condition to local news station WTVD, saying that it grew so bad that his nose would start running at any moment. It even ruined a Thanksgiving dinner when his nose leaked into the food he was helping to prepare.
Phillpotts said he consulted with different doctors who offered a string of different possible explanations. Some suggested allergies, others thought maybe he had pneumonia.
Finally, Phillpotts’ condition grew so bad that he couldn’t sleep and suffered constant discomfort. So last February, he went to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City where Dr. Alfred Iloreta determined that the man’s cerebrospinal fluid was actually leaking from his nose.
“It’s the leakage of fluid that surrounds the brain to cushion it primarily to protect it from shock or trauma or anything like that,” Iloreta told WTVD. “Sometimes when you have this leakage of the fluid from the brain, it can evolve into what we call an ascending infection. So bacteria can travel from the nose to the brain resulting in meningitis.”
Iloreta has tried to warn others about the warning signs for the strange condition, saying they should consult a doctor if they have persistent leaks from just one nostril, especially salty mucus and constant headaches. Though Phillpotts’ case was unusual, it is not unheard of and the doctor hoped he could help others avoid the years of agony that Phillpotts suffered before finding his answer.
The fix for Phillpotts was not all that simple, the Metro reported. Doctors needed to take tissue from another part of his body and fashion it into a flap that would stop the leak.
Phillpotts’ strange condition has gained national attention, with People magazine and the New York Post both picking up his story. Many commented on the patience he had with enduring the annoying condition for so long.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 16, 2018
For the North Carolina man, the surgical procedure to fix the leaky brain fluid was life-changing.
“Have you ever been so congested that you can’t breathe? All of sudden you can breathe again and what a relief that was,” Greg Phillpotts said.