Hello from taipei


Thanks for approving me to join this community. I am from Taipei city (Taiwan), and think I am probably the only Taiwanese on this community. :open_mouth:

I just searched the ES information on Google, but there were less information about ES in Mandarin language, so I tried to use English to do the search and then finally found here very useful information.

My symptom started this January. First, I just began to feel slight pain of swallowing on my left side, then I went to the ENT clinic to check with this problem, but the doctor couldn’t see anything wrong, so just prescribed some medicine for pain relief. One week later, I got acute suppurative tonsillitis and only on left side, so I started to take antibiotics following the doctor’s instruction for about two weeks.

After two weeks, the symptom of tonsillitis seemed to be gone, but I still had the symptom of the slight pain of swallowing as well as talking on left side. I went to see the clinic doctor again, and the doctor thought it was because of my tonsillitis, so asked me to take the antibiotics for a longer time. I just kept taking the antibiotics for two more weeks, but I didn’t feel any different, so I decided to make an ENT appointment with the hospital.

The hospital doctor used nasopharyngoscopy to check my left side, but couldn’t find anything abnormal. She said it might be the problem of tonsillitis, so she changed the antibiotics for me and asked me to see her one week later.

In the next appointment, I told her that I still did not feel any different after taking the antibiotics, I still suffered from slight pain when swallowing and talking. The doctor just used the nasopharyngoscopy to check my nose and throat again, and this time she said it all looked fine, but it might be the problem of reflux laryngopharyngitis, so she said there’s no need to take the antibiotics and prescribed some medicine for muscle and GERD relief.

But I still suffered from the slight pain (the feeling just like something sharp poking my left throat) on left side while swallowing or talking (especially pronouncing the sound like K when talk), therefore, I decided to change the hospital to have another ENT appointment.

Before going to the ENT, I googled my symptom and finally found the information about eagle syndrome. Then I went to the ENT, and the doctor still used the nasopharyngoscopy to check my nose and throat but still found nothing wrong and thought I might have the globus hystericus or pharyngeus. I asked his opinion about ES, he said that might be an option for my symptom, therefore, he scheduled a head and neck CT scan for me.

While waiting for the CT scan, I started to see the doctor in the dept. of traditional Chinese medicine in the same hospital. After taking the herbal medicine, the feeling of pain have gradually decreased and became much more bearable. (sometimes even no pain feeling all the day, but the slight pain feeling would be back all of a sudden the next few days…)

Finally, my CT scan result shows that my left styloid process is 40mm long and the right one is 24mm long, so the doctor diagnosed me with Eagle Syndrome. He said since my pain is bearable at this stage (and other symptom I have is the strangest sensitive feeling of some tooth, but I do not have the classical ear or face or neck pain…), he did not suggest me to do the surgery now because it can’t promise me my pain would disappear after the styloidectomy or even has the probability to become much worse. And if I insist to do the surgery, he would do it Intra-oral (as far as I know, most doctors in Taiwan do this surgery Intra-oral ) and would need to do the tonsillectomy as well.

After the CT result appointment, I took an annual leave trip to London, the strangest thing was that, when I was in London, I did not feel any pain while swallowing or talking. (and at that time, I only took the same traditional Chinese herbal medicine…) I thought I might be recovered, but when I went back to Taipei, the slight pain feeling on the left side gradually goes back.

Although the level of my pain feeling is still bearable, it is still very annoying to me in daily life. Thus, I think I would need to take the surgery into consideration, but I am also afraid that the surgery result will be even worse like my ENT said. (I’ve read many stories on the forum, I don’t think I can bear with the huge nerve/muscle pain and other side effects after the surgery, and also I am worry that it might have the possibility that the styloid process will grow back later. On the other hand, I also wondered if I don’t do the styloidectomy, will the elongated styloid cause the stroke?)

I’ve already made other ENT appointments in another different two hospitals to ask for second opinion, hope that all of us can figure out the best solution to solve our annoying ES.

Thanks for your patience in reading and excuse for any typo and my poor English. :slight_smile:

Your English is great!
The decision to have surgery is not an easy one, unless your symptoms are really bad. Most people take a while to think about it. If you’re going to get another opinion, it would be helpful to have a CT with contrast, which would show if there’s any compression of the blood vessels, although if you’ve already had one they might want you to wait a while because of the radiation. ES doesn’t very often cause a stroke- it’s very rare, and I would think that you’d have some vascular symptoms by now (dizziness, fainting, eye pain)- there’s info in the Newbies Guide section about vascular symptoms, but please be assured that this is very rare.
If you feel that the symptoms are really affecting your quality of life you could try steroid injections into the area, which can help but is a temporary measure, but might help while you consider surgery. If you think that you would need surgery, then try to find a doctor who has done the surgery before, and make sure that they understand they need to remove as much as possible, and leave the end smooth. The styloid growing back is pretty rare too, and if you leave it then it could continue growing, or press on nerves which could cause more pain… so it is a dilemma! There are plenty of success stories on here, a lot of people have surgeries which go well, and their recovery isn’t too long. And some members have found things which help them, and feel that they can manage their symptoms without surgery.