I am Trapped in this pain please let me know if anyone else is having the same symptoms

So 15 months ago this chronic unilateral pain started on the left side of my throat and base of the tongue. It is continuous. I visited several doctors. The x ray report said that bilateral enlarged styloid process but the left one is more enlarged than the right . Left one is about 32 mm. In the x-ray or mri of neck they can’t see any nerve getting pressed. One ent Doctor told me that if u are having eagle syndrome than should only be having pain while swallowing but my pain is continuous. So he was not sure about the eagle syndrome. Other doctor prescribed me Gabapentin (for neuralgic pain) and some anti depressants but It didn’t help me. The 3rd doctor told me that u have to bear it cause styloidectomy is a failure. The success ratio is very less and even if u get relief, chances of recurrence of pain after 2-3 years is there, so just suffer from it. And only one doctor suggested to go for styloidectomy and take the risk. I am really scared. I am sick of the daily pain . I want to get out of it . It sucks that they are not even sure about the diagnosis. I have nowhere to go now as I consulted 6 doctors only 3 seem to be sure about the eagle syndrome. Is there anyone else with the same symptoms??

Firstly, welcome to the site! I’ve not had a chance to send you a welcome message so I’ll do it here! There’s lots of info all about ES in the Newbies Guide section, & the past discussions can be useful too; they’re searchable by topic.
There is alot of ignorance with doctors about symptoms of Eagles Syndrome. In the Newbies Guide section, there’s lots of info about common symptoms & what causes them, here’s a link:

We also have the results of a survey a member did a little while ago asking about what symptoms people have:

You might find it helpful to read those & compare your symptoms- for instance, I never had the pain in swallowing, but had neck & ear pain, pain turning my head, & nerve pain in my teeth & jaw.
Secondly, as long as you see an experienced surgeon who can remove as much of the styloid process as possible, the success rates are very good, so your doctor was wrong! We have a link to a research piece I think again in the Newbies Guide/ Surgery info page, I can’t remember the success rates off-hand, but it was over 90% I think.
Occasionally the styloid processes can grow back, so people do get symptoms again, but that is pretty rare.
Lots of members have had trouble getting diagnosed, & then trouble finding someone experienced to do the surgery, so you’re not alone, if that’s any consolation.
If you want to find out if surgery might help, & doctors are doubting whether you have ES, then you could ask if it’s possible to have an injection of lidocaine/ steroids in the tonsillar fossa area- some doctors use that to diagnose ES; if it helps the pain the it confirms ES. And then you would be more confident that surgery would help you.
Unfortunately I don’t know of any experienced doctors in India who we could suggest- we have had a couple of members from India on the forum, so you could try posting a discussion asking if anyone knows a surgeon experienced in this. Otherwise maybe you could look into whether it’s possible to see an Otolaryngologist/ Skull base surgeon, as they’re experienced in operating in this area. If you have time, you could look through the links to different research papers about ES in the Newbies Guide, & see if any of the authors are Indian, then maybe try contacting them?
I hope that you’re able to get some help!

Thanks Jules for sharing that link! I can relate to many symptoms and got to know about many new things

I’m so sorry about what you are going through. I hate to say it but I think you were given some misinformation about Eagle’s Syndrome. I suffered for over 5 years with it. The worst has been the throat pain/feeling like there is a foreign body in the right side of my throat and the glossopharyngeal neuralgia. The pain has not been intermittent but it’s been constant and unrelenting and has progressively gotten worse over the years. I was diagnosed with ES in September 2017 and had surgery 2 weeks ago.
My surgeon told me that the success rate for surgery is about 90% which corroborates with all the other published studies which give surgery a success rate of 80-95% To me, those odds were worth attempting surgery. I had nothing else to lose because ES completely altered my life in every aspect.
I am still feeling the nerve pain at the base of my tongue but it is not as constant or severe any more and waxes and wanes. The surgeon said that it could take quite a long time for the nerves that were irritated to go back to normal. Overall, I am so darn glad I had the surgery. So many other symptoms I had are completely gone. It’s only been 14 days and I am about 75% better.

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Hi Kinjalmehta,

I had your exact symptoms, & it was the pain in the front of my neck that led me to poke around on my neck. I ultimately found a hard lump under my jaw that was initially diagnosed as an infected salivary gland. Fortunately another doctor told me it felt calcified & I should see an ENT. The first ENT I saw told me I had ES & had me get a CT scan to confirm it. Mine was bilateral as well. I did end up having 2 surgeries - one for each side, & I stand behind what Jules & BanDruid7 said. Having surgery stopped the relentless pain & gave me my life back. My first surgery was 3.75 years ago & my second 3 years ago. No symptoms have come back in that time.


@BanDruid7! Thanks for replying. I feel very happy about ur surgery success. Hope u get 100% betterment soon .
My parents are not ready for me to undergo such a major surgery and that makes me feel scared too. And also in India there are no experienced doctors for es. So that makes me worried a bit more. But my opg shows that I have impacted 3rd molar , so I might be going to get it removed as the mandibular branch of trigeminal nerve is located over there. But it should be causing pain at that sight only right?! my pain is no where near 3rd molar it is in the throat around the sight of gag reflex and even deeper . But one doc suggested to take this step 1st and after that wait for 4 weeks. I didn’t buy it but I think I am gonna have to try it .:sleepy:

Woah! That is great @Isaiah_40_31.and also thank for the reply:)
online I read that it is frequent in people of 40-50 age group. I am 20! Isn’t it a bit too soon for me :disappointed_relieved: my parents keep telling me that u don’t feet the age criteria but it is possible to have it in early age too right?
And also are/were there any side effects of the surgery that u felt ? Do u feel normal In the area of surgery? Are the sensations normal, Just the way they were before your es?

Kinjalmehta ~ People of all ages can get ES. The youngest on this site was 12 & there have been a decent number of people in the 20-30 age range. Michael is 21 (you can read his posts) just had surgery in Germany. There is no criteria for Eagle Syndrome as far as age goes. There is also no known cause. It has been postulated that neck injury, tonsillectomy, thyroid disease, TMJD, etc., could be contributors.

Yes, I had side effects from the surgery, but first, I must say that they are NOTHING when compared to the pain & disability ES caused me. I was 58 when I was diagnosed but very active - running marathons & half marathons, cycling & working out a lot. ES put a stop to that. I’m happy to say I can do it all again though I am slowing down & trying to go easier on my body now. I have a numb area under my jaw & first bite syndrome. FBS (you can Google it) is a very common side effect of surgeries in the area of the neck where ES surgery occurs (if you have external surgery). It’s another puzzling thing that no one is quite sure why it happens. Most people recover completely from it but a small percentage will have symptoms for the long term. It’s uncomfortable but totally something I can live with. I also had paralysis of half my tongue after my first surgery because my hypoglossal nerve was wrapped around my styloid. My surgeon had to unwrap it to shorten my styloid process which irritated it. My h-g nerve did recover over the period of about 6 months & all is well now. That is an unusual situation though, & I only know of 2 other people on this forum that had that problem in all the years I’ve been on here.

If your pain gets to a point where you can’t live your life in the manner you would like, that’s when you will need to more seriously consider surgery. Some people have opted to have cortisone or lidocaine injections to delay surgery as Jules mentioned above.

Have your parents read the ES articles you can access on this forum. It will help their understanding of what you’re going through.


Thanks for the reply @Isaiah_40_31 ! I am going to get my 3rd molar extracted today. Let’s hope it helps … Otherwise I’ll have no option left but styloidectomy

Yeah as u said I have severe tmj issue(but its pain feels negligible less compared to es pain). MRI says that disc are displaced. It might have been the contributor

Please keep us posted as to the results of your 3rd molar removal. I hope it helps reduce your symptoms.

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