Newbie here but veteran sore throat

About 9 years ago, I had this sore throat that wouldn’t go away. My doctors believed it was reflux, and I was treated for it for many years. My GI and ENT kept tweaking my reflux meds, suggesting lifestyle changes, etc, all without any results. Finally, I had a ph impedance test done that showed I was not refluxing. So, we tried looking into allergies, muscle tension dysphonia, and nerve pain. Again, no change in my symptoms- sore, tight throat, difficulty swallowing, pain that radiates into my head and ears. I came across Eagles, and I asked my ent about it. He said it’s a diagnosis that isn’t really used. I remembered that my dentist did a panoramic x-ray a couple years ago, so I asked for that image. Sure enough, I think I see some styloids. Now I’m on the hunt for a doctor to order a ct. If that confirms what I think I’m seeing in the x-ray, I’ll pursue a surgeon that specializes in eagles. Whew, this journey and the pain is exhausting. Thanks for having me here!


Your journey sounds just like mine except mine started Oct 2019 with the sore throat that wouldn’t go away with pain and numbness all up and down left side of face, neck, throat, temple, and scalp. Different health practitioners were pushing that it was acid reflux but I was having none of it since I knew I didn’t suffer from it.

Then suggested it was muscle, esophageal spasms, or they just shrugged shoulders. When it all started though, I searched for my symptoms “stabbing pain in throat” and Eagle Syndrome came up. All my symptoms fit however when i asked about it, noone looked. It wasn’t until Jan 2022 that it was found on an old 2019 CT. Heck it even showed up on Apr 2019 panoramic and i had no idea I could ask for imaging!

My advice is to keep pushing and advocating. When you know something is wrong, you just know.

Siren, what is next for you? Will you consult a surgeon?

I’m in Canada so right now I’m jumping through hoops waiting for health system to do testing to confirm ES is the problem even though a radiologist pointed it out on a second reading and my symptoms have been getting worse going into my 3rd year already. If things get worse I’ll have to consider going to the US. Right now I’m not feeling too great.

Yes, you can see the styloids! Do you have symptoms both sides? The styloid on the left of the x-ray image (your right) looks very angled, the one on the right of the image looks very pointy, both issues can cause symptoms, although they’re not as long as some…
Have you checked out the doctors list for a doctor to be referred to?

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I have globus, throat aching, headache, and difficulty swallowing on both sides. However, I often get a pain only on the right that radiates downward.

I would like to get a ct done and then set up a consult with an eagles surgeon from the list. They typically want the ct first, it seems. I just need to convince a doctor to order it. I just found this dental xray that might be motivation for my ent. I see him next week, so we’ll see.


I hope your ENT is helpful & not dismissive. Don’t take no for an answer. The cost for the CT comes out of your pocket (actually hopefully it’s covered by your medical insurance) not your doctor’s so there is no reason you should be declined the chance to have a diagnostic CT scan. Sadly many ENTs are unaware of ES or play it down. We have often joked on here, that the doctors who call someone w/ ES a hypochondriac or dismiss it as a legend/non-entity should be so unfortunate as to suffer ES & its ill effects. Bet they would re-think how they feel about it then!

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Why do you think it is a condition that is dismissed? I believe most doctors want to help their patients. Is it truly so rare that they just haven’t seen it in their practice? Or is it the difficulty in proving that the styloids are causing the symptoms?

Actually both situations. You would think doctors would want to help their patients diagnose & resolve the cause of their symptoms; however, I have been a member of this forum for going on 8 years & have seen numerous members be humiliated by being called hypochondriacs, dismissed by doctors who should help them, were told ES is not real, etc., even when presenting their doctors w/ medical, peer reviewed research papers to the contrary. It’s very sad that so many in the medical field either don’t want to learn from their patients or are too arrogant to admit a patient might know something the doctor doesn’t. Many of our members have spent their life savings over years trying to get diagnosed. It is a travesty. I was soooo thankful that I did not have to go that route as I was diagnosed by the first ENT I saw about my symptoms & ultimately had my surgeries done by Dr. Samji whose name I found on the Doctors List here.

Many doctors don’t consider that the varied symptoms of ES are tied to cranial nerves that exist in the same area as the styloid. It takes some decent knowledge of the neck anatomy & of the effects an elongated styloid/stylohoid ligament can have on the hyoid bone & all the soft structures between the styloid process & hyoid for a doctor to suspect ES or a previous experience w/ patients w/ ES.

My explanation is not very concise but hopefully it makes some sense.

I also believe that many doctors are thoroughly annoyed with search engine empowered patients. There is a real superiority complex with some doctors that may have spent 8+ years of their lives studying human anatomy only to have a patient arrive with knowledge based on a Google search. I have personally experienced this.


Totally agree with you …
And with some thorough investigations of some providers/doctors and their practices … etc it would be nothing less then a “mafia business”… that’s what one member here called it in one older post.

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My path was like yours with a sore throat everyday for 18 months. I even got to the point where I was paying $350 a month for the proton pump inhibitor Dexilant from Canada which is supposed to be a top of the line PPI and it didn’t help at all. I also had the 24 monitoring test with the tube in my nose which was negative. Since I had my Eagle surgery on Jul 20, 2001, my sore throat is 98% gone. Every once in a while ( every few months) I get a slight sore throat for a couple hours or so but then it goes away. But I’m only about 6.5 months after surgery. My ENT and the radiologist found my ES on a CT Scan with contrast. Then my head and neck surgeon at UF Health ran a panoramic during my ES consultation and you could clearly see the spike on my right side. Good luck and I hope you find relief soon!