I wanted to send you an intro w/ a little more information about ES than you may have gotten from our Mod Support team so here you go!
To get started on this forum, click on the gray “How To Use This Site” link above & review the information there. You can search any topic using the gray magnifying glass icon in the upper right. Our Newbies Guide has lots of information about ES as
well as links to published research papers. We also have a list of doctors familiar w/ ES (see link at bottom of this email).
Eagle Syndrome is defined as 1) elongation of the styloid process(es) OR 2) calcification of the stylohyoid ligament(s) OR 3) a combination of 1 & 2. The type of doctor that usually treats ES is a skull-based ENT surgeon, neurosurgeon or maxillofacial surgeon. These doctors are often cancer specialists. Understanding the type & thoroughness of a doctor’s surgical approach is important. We recommend the external (vs. intraoral) approach as the styloid can be removed back to the skull base & the stylohyoid ligaments, if calcified, can be removed from styloid tips to hyoid bone which provides the best long-term recovery from ES symptoms. Nerves & vascular tissues can also be better monitored via the external approach. A CT scan is the best way to diagnose ES. Your CT needs to show the area between your hyoid bone & skull base focusing on the styloid processes & stylohyoid ligaments. If you have calcification on your stylohyoid ligaments, that will also show up but the ligaments themselves will be invisible - only the calcified sections can be seen.
The symptoms of ES are caused by irritation of up to 6 cranial nerves that “live” in your neck in the same area as the styloid processes & stylohyoid ligaments. Elongation of the styloid(s) &/or calcification of the stylohyoid ligaments can cause irritation to these nerves. Alone each nerve when “upset” can create painful & sometimes scary symptoms. When more than one is irritated the symptoms caused can be downright debilitating. Additionally, vascular compression of the internal carotid artery &/or jugular vein can occur which creates other miserable & concerning symptoms such as migraines, visual changes, heart & blood pressure issues & intracranial hypertension (high blood pressure inside the skull). Obviously, the solution for recovery is to remove the offending bones/ligaments so the nerves &/or vascular tissues can recover. There is a series of YouTube videos called Two Minute Neuroscience . Each cranial nerve is featured in a two-minute video w/ explanation as to location, function & dysfunction of the nerve. It would be good for you to watch them. These are the nerves affected by ES: vagus, facial, glossopharyngeal, hypoglossal, trigeminal & accessory. Hopefully the information you receive will help you understand the source of some/most of your symptoms.
Please join any conversation on the forum or start your own. We like our new members to share their ES stories (even if not diagnosed) so we know best how to support you. Though we aren’t doctors, there is a wealth of experiential ES knowledge here. Please feel free to email me back if you have any specific questions.
We hope you find this a friendly, caring place.
Wishing you the best,