ES and voice problems

Hi everyone.

English is not my mother tongue so I apologize in advance for the grammar mistakes.

My main problem is a foreign body sensation in the left side of the throat and voice issues,The hyoid bone seems displaced on the left side and very tight. I don't feel any pain, it's more a very annoying feeling of something stuck in my throat and total inability to project my voice.

I have had 2D TC scan but show nothing wrong, I'm now scheduled for a 3d scan on december.

I'm now suffering from 13 years (I'm 33) , this condition literally ruined my whole life.

Someone else has the same symptoms? It could be ES?



I forgot to mention the persistent need to crack my neck and jerk my head.

Yesterday I asked my dentist here in Montana to do a digital panoramic X-ray. It cost $120. It showed the elongated styloid and it has grown the past 3 years. Go to a tmj specialist. Quickest way to find out. ENTs are usually booked up for weeks.

Thank you polly!

I've already done 3 panoramic X-ray through the years and never shown elongation of styloid process. I guess the root of my problems is more related to the insertion of the ligament on the hyoid bone.

nobody else has speech problems?

I know if I try to sing, I notice that after maybe 30 seconds, my voice-gets raspy and faint….at that point my throat in the aft lower right suddenly feels raw--- or like a little hot fleck of pepper is stuck down there. My eyes get watery for a second because of that sudden raw sting. I don't know when that started. Within the year?

I think ES can sort of cause things to displace inward. Maybe this squashes the throat area and alters how the vocal cords can move. (I'm guessing!) I think it could be why your voice can't do what it used to do?

I have not seen much here in terms of voice problems being talked about.

Yes, I completely lost my voice after speaking more than a few lines. I couldn't read a children's story to my kids because I'd lose my voice too quickly. My surgeon didn't think it was related, but the symptoms were eliminated completely with surgery. I hope you can get a definitive diagnosis and find a surgeon to help you. I'm so sorry that you've suffered with this for so long.

Thank you so much for the reply: i'm glad your voice came back after surgery. Ihope it will be the same for me.

Hello Spilloz,

I have the same issue. I am 28 years old and for last 15 years I am facing mild problems regarding the fluency of the speech which I ignored due to two reasons: It was not severe and I thought there is no solution of it. In last 5-6 months the problem got severe and I had a sharp electric like pain under my tongue with good days and bad days. In the last 2 weeks it got even worse with every day bad for me. I had CT of my throat and mouth and it was seen that my right styloid process is 47. and left is 32mm. I also feel pain under the right side of my tongue. Luckily I don’t have any other symptom of eagle syndrome, which make me think if eagle syndrome is the possible cause of my problem. Do you also have only this symptom or you have other symptoms as well?

Hi Ali.

ES has been ruled out in my case. All my problems are caused by
laryngopharyngeal reflux and muscle tension dysphonia.

Sorry you are going through this.

Good Luck.

I had speech symptoms (ranging from mild to severe) that were helped by neck surgery. Also neck muscle spasms (seizures?). There is definitely some nerve entrapment issue that doctors don’t easily diagnose. Luckily, I found a surgeon who could see enough evidence of structural abnormality to justify surgery. He removed a 2 cm length of cartilage which was bent and intruding in the wrong direction and now I can lay down and speak and 6 months later, the frequency of my symptoms has been largely reduced. Hopefully, the frequency will go down even further as the nerves (?) continue to heal. I’m just so surprised that doctors can’t explain this issue more fully because it’s clear to me that SOMETHING went wrong. I hate that there is no name for this.


I have had “running out of air” kind of speech problem for a few years now, and my voice going kind of whispery…was not good when I was public speaking. I also had some dysarthria, but mild compared to now.

post 1st surgery a month ago, I have more exagerated “air” breathiness, higher speech tone, dysarthria and tongue dyspraxia - all expected apparently following the surgery.

Hoping the worst of the right sided tongue deviation, swelling and nerve uncoordination will improve over the next month or so - miss being able to talk properly!

I can still ooooh and aaaaaah notes to sing, but cannot pronounce the lyrics.

Hello Spilloz,

After CT, did the doctor told the length of your styloid process? Is ES ruled out because the Styloids looked in order or the doctors thought ES has nothing to do with speech problems?

Hello Della,

Was dysarthria a post surgery effect for you or you had before the operation as well?

Hi Della,

I had a major issue w/ my tongue/speech post op, & it took about 9 months for it to return to normal. Don’t be discouraged. Musicgeek is 3 months out from surgery & only now is her voice starting to come back stronger. Patience is the word of the year after an ES surgery. As frustrating as it may be, nerves are slow to heal.

Sorry you’re experiencing these frustrating post op problems! Keep your head up & think healing thoughts. I’ll be praying for you!


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Hi Ali

yes I had mild dysarthria now for over 4 years, had small strokes or vascular accidents in 2012 (not diagnosed) that left me with right sided facial weakness and dysarthria but very mild, trouble with some sounds only.

since surgery, right side done, I have still the swollen tongue on right side and tongue uncoordination, this is expected to heal, but I have left sided lower face weakness/droop as I had a small stroke during surgery.

dysarthria and gaping mouth on left is making speech slurry.

Hi everyone

I also have voice issues, but my problem is that it is painful to use my voice. I sound normal, but I can’t say more than one sentence before it hurts. The pain is very intense, and it is on the right side of my throat from the hyoid bone and up to my right ear.

My styloids are 4,2 cm (left) and 3,8 (right), but my doctors say that it can’t be the cause of my pain. I don’t know what to do with this, and it has really turned my life upside down. I am a professional singer, but I haven’t been able to sing or speak for the past year. It is not easy trying to live a normal life without being able to communicate with people around you.

Musicgeek & Benyon are also professional musicians whose voices - both singing & speaking were affected by ES. Length of styloids is not what’s important, it’s the angle at which they’re growing that counts. It’s entirely possible that even though your styloids aren’t hugely long, the one on the right side is angled such that it’s tangling w/ nerves or larynx tissue (or both) that in turn are causing pain when you speak. See if you can get a second opinion at the very least. Sadly, ES is rare enough that most doctors are skeptical & dismissive of odd symptoms we who have it demonstrate. It’s very frustrating!

To encourage you, Musicgeek had bilateral ES & had one surgery so far & is experiencing vocal improvement.

Sure hope you can find someone who will delve deeper into the possibility that your vocal troubles are related to the ES. I will pray for you to that end.


Norway, that must be so frustrating as a professional singer, but typical of what a lot of members experience from doctors. We have had a couple of teachers on here who have found that they’ve been unable to continue with their jobs because the pain got too bad, so this isn’t unusual.
I agree with Isaiah, and also a previous member ‘Eaglewon’tbeatme’ had surgery both sides as he was a professional singer and unable to sing properly. He’s not on the site now, but you could search for his discussions so you know you’re not alone!
As Isaiah said, it’s not always the length of the styloids which cause problems, but the angle too. Yours aren’t massive, but they are longer than the ‘average’ 2.5 cms which a lot of doctors use. All we can suggest is the same advice we give to others- have a look in the ES Info (in the Newbies section) and there’s lots of info to help you about styloid length, angle, symptoms, which scans are best etc. If you get informed, print out studies which support your case, and take them with you to any appts., plus as Isaiah suggested try to get a second opinion. Obviously doctors with experience may well be thin on the ground in Norway, but there’s suggestions of different specialism doctors which might be able to help you in the ES Info too. A lot of members have to travel a long way- I don’t know if that’s possible for you?
Good luck, thinking of you.

Thank you so much for your support! This site is really helpful. And you are right - Norway is such a small country, and there are no doctors who have proper knowledge of ES.

But there is ONE surgeon in this entire country who has done four or five ES surgeries, and I had an appointment with him this week. Luckily he works at a hospital in Oslo where I live, so I didn’t have to travel far to see him, but I have waited for this appointment for months. He was the first doctor who actually believed that the styloids may be causing the pain, and he didn’t deny the existence of ES. But he did not want to perform the surgery at this point. He wanted to wait for six months to see if the symptoms develop or fade out. He said that it is a risky surgery, and that he wanted to make sure that it was worth the risk.

It felt good to talk to someone who actually believed me, but I am cobsidering travelling to England, Germany or any other country in Eautope to see some specialists there. The surgeon here in Norway had only performed four-five surgeries, so I think I want to see someone with more experience. But I will put him on the Doctors’ List so that other fellow Norwegians may come in contact with him.

So are there any members here who have had their surgery done in Europe by an experienced surgeon? I am willing to travel wherever I have to go. Even though we have free healthcare in Norway, and I would get the surgery for free here, I wish to have the surgery performed by someone who has done it more than just four-five times …

Before I discovered this forum I was so confused because I couldn’t find any information about ES causing voice problems. But many of the members here are experiencing that the voice is affected, and it is good to know that I am not alone.

Again, thank you for all the thoughtful consideration, it means the world to me.

Best wishes from freezing Norway.