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A cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) leak occurs when the fluid around the brain leaks through a hole in the skull bone.

Cerebral spinal fluid is the watery fluid that circulates through the brain’s ventricles and around the surface of the brain and spinal cord. A defect in the dura or the skull bone can cause CSF to leak through the nose or ear, depending on where the skull bone is damaged.

In many cases, head injuries can cause holes or tears in the dura. In some instances, things like lumbar punctures can cause CSF leaks. Spontaneous CSF leaks can also occur for no known reason.

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With a CSF leak, you may experience one of many symptoms depending on the location of the leak. Your symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Nasal drainage
  • Meningitis
  • Visual disturbances
  • Tinnitus

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The information provided here is not intended for you to self-diagnose. It is our way of letting you know that we understand how to help you. The first step to your relief is to schedule a consultation so we can determine what your underlying condition is and help you to understand your options.

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