I have been benefitting from this site since last fall and have learned a tremendous amount about ES symptoms and treatment options. I have been beyond thankful that I found this site as it has helped to de-mystify many of my ES symptoms & helped to explain some of them.
I had my first ES surgery in Nov. 2014 & was due to have my second surgery on May 11 but had a bad bicycling accident w/ a head injury on May 5 which has postponed surgery to Aug. 24. A symptom I was only having intermittently prior to that time has become very pronounced & is causing me to periodically lose significant hearing in my left ear (the side that needs surgery). My ENT told me, he thinks I have Bell's Palsy in my 9th cranial nerve (glossopharyngeal nerve) based on my hearing test results. He said there is no possible way, based on the body's anatomical construction, that my ES could have anything to do with this problem. He put me on a Prednisone regimen for 2 weeks (which has changed nothing).
My symptoms seem to coincide with exercise, so I disagree with him & told him so. If I exercise (i.e. jog, do pull-ups, push-ups or other things that increase my blood pressure) then within 24 hrs my left ear develops a feeling like I have an earplug in & I get tinnitis - low pitched ringing but very pronounced. The sounds coming into my ear are amplified & distorted. High-pitches & loud sounds are painful to listen to. I have found wearing an earplug during these episodes helps keep me more comfortable. This problem usually lasts 2 days. By the afternoon of day 2, I often develop positional vertigo (not incapacitating but annoying). When I wake up on the morning of day 3 the symptoms are usually gone & my hearing has returned to normal.
There are variations on this theme but you get the idea. My conclusion here is that though my ES may not be directly influencing the GP nerve, it's causing some sort of inflammation which through a chain reaction is affecting it. This chain reaction is onset by exercise which I am dramatically toning down in an effort to prevent permanent hearing loss. It's so very interesting the extent to which an extended styloid can interfere in our daily activities!
Additionally, I have puzzled about the fact that though my styloids are extremely elongated (only one now), my symptoms have only been mildly annoying compared to so many others on this site. I have had vascular (head & heart) symptoms as well as just straight ES symptoms (ear, jaw, headache, eye, & neck pain, etc.) I know styloid angle plays a role in symptoms, but as I have especially contemplated the blog posts related to diet & exercise & ES symptoms, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps my symptoms have been as minimal as they are because of the way I eat & the supplements I take. I have been on a very low sugar, no grains, legumes or dairy program for 3.5 years. The bulk of my protein comes from chicken & fish w/ a little lean beef & pork added in & my carbs are veggies (especially root veggies) & fruit. I am about 95% successful in this endeavor. I aim to eat to reduce inflammation in my body & to keep my overall body pH on the alkaline side (which is also anti-inflammatory). I drink 80-128 oz water per day.
As I was low in Mg before I was diagnosed w/ ES, I take a lot of magnesium (citrate & glycinate) each day via supplements. I also take calcium supplements, a good quality multi-vitamin, B complex, fish oil & turmeric (as a natural anti-inflammatory). I can't say definitively that my diet & supplements are making the difference in the severity of my symptoms but they sure aren't hurting!
I hope this very long post contains info that will be helpful for others on this site. Thank you to everyone for posting symptoms, suggestions & support. It's all so very beneficial!