Your brain and spinal cord sit inside cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid serves two important functions. First, it provides support for major parts of your central nervous system. Second, cerebrospinal fluid delivers nutrients and removes waste from your brain and spinal cord.
A cerebrospinal fluid leak may be a medical emergency. Regrettably, though, your doctor may either misdiagnose your cerebrospinal fluid leak or miss it altogether.
What is a cerebrospinal fluid leak?
A cerebrospinal fluid leak occurs when fluid moves beyond the membrane that encases it. If you have a leak, you may have a clear fluid dripping from your ears or nose. While the following list is not exhaustive, cerebrospinal fluid leaks typically occur for four reasons:
- Medical procedures
- Genetic disorders
Why do doctors often misdiagnose leaks?
Doctors frequently misdiagnose cerebrospinal fluid leaks as migraines, stomach conditions, chronic headaches or tinnitus, because many of the symptoms of a cerebrospinal fluid leak are the same as common ailments.
What harm may you suffer?
A misdiagnosed cerebrospinal fluid leak may increase your chances of having serious health complications. These leaks may lead to seizures, brain infections or even death. Consequently, if you suspect your doctor has either missed or misdiagnosed your cerebrospinal fluid leak, you may need to seek a second opinion or schedule an appointment with a neurologist.
Because your cerebrospinal fluid is essential to your overall health, you do not want to delay treatment of a leak. Ultimately, though, if a misdiagnosis causes you to suffer additional harm, you may be eligible for financial compensation to help you cope in the future.