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Clear, watery nasal discharge, no mucus or infection. Vasomotor rhinitis or CSF leakage?

I have a clear watery nasal discharge that has been going on for one full year. I saw an ENT doctor who told me that she saw nothing inside my nose, no mucus , no infection, and no irritation, that would cause it, and therefore it has to be either vasomotor rhinitis or a leakage of CSF . What is either and what does it mean?
Asked On : Sun, 30 Dec 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  297
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Diseases and Conditions
ENT Specialist 's  Response
Aug 2013
hello and welcome to HCM,

Your doctor is right in pointing out that the watery discharge may be just a vasomotor rhinitis which is a condition where you have discharge without any allergy. This can be treated with local medication and rarely surgery if needed.

Your problem can also very well be a CSF leak which is a dangerous or worrisome problem as it could lead to infection of the brain or the covering of the brain called the meninges. CSF or cerebro spinal fluid is the fluid which lines and supports the brain and the spinal cord and acts like a shock absorber. In lesions or defects in the roof of the nose, this fluid may leak into the nose and present as a clear watery discharge. To rule this out is very important so you need to do these:

1. Get a contrast CT of the para nasal sinuses to try to get to know the site of the leak
2. Collect the fluid or discharge in a sterile bottle and send the same for a test called the CSF analysis
3. Get an ENT consultant to perform an endoscopic examination of the nose and paranasal sinuses to try and get further information of the site of leak

do not blow your nose very hard

take care and bet back to me with the reports if possible

Dr Sriram Nathan
Answered: Thu, 29 Aug 2013
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