After dealing with left sided throat pain for over a year, I have finally heard of Eagle Syndrome. I originally went to an ENT with the sensation of something sticking me in the left side of the throat near the tonsil, along with ear pain and tongue pain. After seeing the same ENT three times with no results, the symptoms left for about 4 months. When they came back they weren’t as severe and I was frustrated with the thought of going back with to the ENT, until early last week when I saw a new ENT. She suggested it was Eagle Syndrome and offered an Xray or CAT scan. Without understanding much at the time, I chose X-ray and will have it done this week. After doing research I am beginning to question if an X-ray will yield any useful information. Has anyone been diagnosed from an x-ray?

Also over the years I have had many symptoms and wonder if some could be related.These have all happened prior to the throat pain. Could I have had other symptoms prior to the throat pain related to Eagle Syndrome? Or would you expect that the would appear about the same time?
Symptoms include:
Left sided headaches and neck pain (for the last 20 years)
Tinnitus (bilateral- about the same time as the headaches)
Visual disturbances
Digestive issues- which have worsened in the past 3 years.
Heart Palpitations.

Also recently, (since the throat pain) Left sided arm pain usually upper arm, but occasionally to the wrist.
I am very interested in what those who have experienced ES think. Now that I have done my research, I do plan on bringing these questions to my Dr. , next time I talk to her.
Any advice to help get an ES diagnosed or to rule it out is appreciated.

Hi, This is my first post on this site. I was diagnosed with ES earlier this year which was picked up during an x-Ray of my teeth and jaw.

Hi Jayla, I also had (and still have) a number of symptoms (ear pain, jaw pain, neck pain) for a number of months. I had a number of x-rays of the area including an OPG scan, which apparently did not show anything although my styloids were visible on the OPG scan. It was not until I had asked for a 3D CT scan to be undertaken specifically looking at my styloids that it revealed I had long styloids (i.e. 4.4 cm on the left side and 4.2 cm on the right side). It was through this site that I asked for the 3D CT scan and have now at least a confirmed (rather than speculated) diagnosis of ES. I hope this helps.

Thank you both! I currently have scheduled a soft tissue x-ray of the neck. Since this began I have had a panoramic dental x-ray. If there was anything to be seen on there, no one noticed. I think I will see if I can request that and send it to the doctor and if nothing shows, request a CT scan.

I should also say that about 3-4 months before I started experiencing the pain, I fell hard. I landed flat on my back and my neck took the brunt of it. I had pain from the base of my skull down my neck- mostly on the left side. I never got it x-rayed. I did mention this twice to initial ENT (didn’t think to mention it to the new one, but I will), but he didn’t think it was related. Just wondering if this could have caused my current issues. Of course then it seems that my past history headaches etc would not be related.

Hi Jayla, you need to ensure that when requesting the CT scan the doctor makes it very clear on the referral that he/she is investigating a diagnosis of Eagle Syndrome and the report on the scan is to comment on the length and angle of the styloids, as well as whether they are ossified.

Your fall could be relevant, as I understand that trauma to the head/neck may render symptomatic ES symptoms. I suffered form glandular fever at the time my symptoms started and believe this contributed to my ES.

Having said that, it may be that your issues are also being caused by other arears of your spine or head from your fall and these ought to be properly investigated as well, which explains the reason for your doctors ordering different scans. I do think though that having a CT scan focused on your styloids will be very helpful in giving you a better diagnosis of whether you have ES. Take care and please keep us updated on your progress.

I agree with all that the others have said- if I were you though, I consider cancelling the x-ray you’ve got scheduled, as it won’t show the styloids that well, and certainly no better than the panoramic x-ray you’ve had, and it’s extra radiation… save that for a CT which would be more helpful! An MRI doesn’t use radiation, but doesn’t show the styloids well, so no good for diagnosing ES, but it can be useful to rule out other things, and might be useful as well; some doctors like to do that too.
In the Newbies Guide section, there’s info about common symptoms, and what might cause them; you might find it interesting to have a read. The neck pain, headaches and tinnitus are all common; visual disturbances, palpitations and arm/ shoulder pain are less common but have been noticed. The nerves which exit from the brain at the base of the skull are all close together, along with major blood vessels, and right near the styloids, so can easily get compressed or irritated, which could cause irritation to the Vagus nerve for example, and cause palpitations.
If you think your doctor might not take some of the symptoms seriously, it might be an idea to get some research articles printed off and take with you.
Hope that you get some answers!

Thank you! I will definitely update. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this forum. It is a wealth of information and full of kind and compassionate people. One thing I have learned is I need to be both patient and persistent. I am fortunate that while I have some pain it is tolerable (though I would like to reach in my throat and pull out the “stick” that keeps poking it!). My biggest concern right now is that there may be some vascular involvement.

My chiropractor found it with an X-ray. Wasn’t sure of which side was showing but knew it was Eagles. I had never heard of it before then.

What symptoms are you having, Jayla, that lead you to suspect vascular involvement?