This Man Has Been Living With a Large Pocket of Air on His Brain…and Doing Relatively OK

This Man Has Been Living With a Large Pocket of Air on His Brain…and Doing Relatively OK

Feeling light-headed has taken on a new meaning for a man in Ireland.

People have been found living with cockroaches, larvae and cotton gauze in their skulls, as unbelievable as it sounds, and now this. An 84 year-old man from Northern Ireland has been living with a 3.5 inch pocket of air on his brain and walking around town like it’s nobody’s business.

Yes, air.

CNN reports how, after feeling dizzy and falling often in previous weeks, the elderly patient decided to take action. He went to visit a medical center. Fearing a stroke, he found out it was something much more unusual.

“We knew immediately that there was something very abnormal,” said Dr. Finlay Brown, a leading author of the report and the doctor who treated him.

“Initially, we thought perhaps the patient hadn’t disclosed having previously had some form of operation or a congenital abnormality, but … he confirmed he hadn’t.”

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How the air got into his head is a bit of a mystery.

An MRI indicated that a small benign bone tumor has formed in his sinuses and eroded the base of his skull. As a result, air was able to leak into his cranial cavity, starting the problem.

What about the falling? It was found that the air pocket had put pressure on his brain and caused a small stroke. This was causing weakness on one side of his body and his instabilty, and so he’s chosen to take medication for the stroke to prevent further damage, but nothing more.

For the moment at least, he has opted out of surgery as treatment. And so far, so good: doctors report that the individual is feeling much better. Will the air return? We hope not. It’s time to wait and see.

Photo credits: frankie’s/

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