Hi Everyone - so happy to be part of this wonderful group of people!
I was thinking that when I saw my doctor and he felt the bones poking into my throat behind my tonsils and palpated under my jaw, especially on the right, that a presumptive diagnosis of Eagle’s syndrome would be established and then a CT would be ordered to confirm. The CT is pending, and my doctor’s differential diagnosis included Eagles, glossopharengeal neuralgia, multiple sclerosis, vestibular migraines, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
Summary of symptoms of current problem:
45 yo female, woke up on a Sunday Oct. 2019 suddenly dizzy and nauseated. Previously was fine other than unexplained coughing attacks over the past decade or so. Only medications were thyroxine and spironolactone (for cystic acne). The dizziness did not resolve and was exacerbated with head movements. The following day I went to the ER as recommended by my doctor – no explanation was found. My doctor tried a course of antibiotics followed by some strong allergy medications, but the symptoms did not improve. The nausea subsided of the first couple of days but the constant dizziness made it difficult to walk and sometimes felt drunk / lightheaded and sometimes like rocking on a boat. It was associated with right ear tinnitus of a high pitch varying from mild to medium intensity. I also had fairly consistent right ear pain and pressure. No hearing loss was detected. Sometimes there would be pain in my right tonsil, right base of tongue area also. Sometimes I would have a sensation of chills and irregular heart beat or skipped heartbeats. Eventually I went to a private pay vestibular physiotherapist and was tested (goggles). She determined I had vestibular neuritis on the right side and prescribed vestibular exercises. By early February I had recovered from the dizziness and was essentially cured. Only the right ear pain and pressure remained.
September 2020 I again started to feel moments of dizziness similar to prior episode for just a few seconds with no apparent trigger, but by October they had increased in duration and frequency such that I was back to dizzy much of the day, if not all the time. It was generally a rocking on a boat dizziness that would occasionally become very intense almost pulsating. It is worse at rest or sitting still and increased with closed eyes. The occasional sense of chills also returned. Brain fog and lightheadedness would come and go as symptoms would vary in intensity day to day. Mornings would often be better than afternoons and evenings but not always. I did not have any whole normal days. The tinnitus eventually also returned by January 2021 but was softer and less frequent. Hearing was checked as still normal. I fell and broke my ankle mid-January, and believe that my unsteadiness likely played a role in this event. Throughout this I have continued to work, but did cut back my hours significantly. I enjoy my work and would like to continue, but this condition is fairly debilitating at times. Within the past month, nausea has been a problem. There is also a very sore nodule area under my right jaw, which when pressed refers pain to my familiar ear pain area. With possible tender right neck lymph nodes. I’ve also noted pointy bones behind my tonsils protruding into my throat which give a sensation of something in my throat. Intra-oral palpation shows the right bone is very tender and when pressed refers pain to my ear – the pain I’ve been feeling. The left bone is not tender. I have noted recently that looking to the right, looking down or laying on my right side may sometime increase symptoms. Currently the right styloid process, right ear and right under jaw area are all very sore and tender. I notice a whooshing sound of air on the right when I open my mouth quickly, which has come on in the past month with the tender nodes, nodule and nausea. I currently feel uncomfortable turning my head too much to the right and can sometimes reproduce the symptoms with poor head positioning. Lately it has been hard to find a comfortable position that doesn’t illicit symptoms. However, the brain fog has cleared and I feel I’m a bit better, but still unsteady and feeling not myself.
I’ve had a brain MRI, CT scan of vestibular system for semicircular canal dehiscense that has many of the same symptoms (unfortunately didn’t show total styloid length but did show styloids until the scan stopped and did’t go low enough) and an ultrasound of neck nodes. These have not revealed the cause of the symptoms. H&N X-rays for Eagle’s syndrome were done on April 6, 2021 but for some reason they could not see the styloid. I question possible vascular compression of the jugular vein or carotid artery and/or damage to these vessels on the right as a possible cause of the lightheadedness and drunk feeling. Has anyone discovered anything I can do while I wait to lessen the symptoms? Thanks Everyone!!!