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Eagle Syndrome

What is Eagle syndrome?

Eagle syndrome is a rare disorder that exists in two forms, both of which are characterized by pain in the face and middle of the throat. The first type typically occurs after a tonsillectomy or trauma to the throat (classic Eagle syndrome), while the latter is the result of compressed blood vessels. 

What are the symptoms of Eagle syndrome?

The symptoms of this condition depend on which type one has. If it is classic Eagle syndrome, the symptoms include:

  • Dull, consistent throat pain
    • This may worsen when turning one’s head
    • The pain may radiate to the face or ears
  • Tinnitus
  • Facial or neck pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A feeling that something is stuck in your throat

The non-classic form sees symptoms like:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

What causes Eagle syndrome?

A calcified stylohyoid ligament or an abnormally long styloid process is the cause of Eagle syndrome, although medical professionals are unsure as to what exactly leads to this. Throat trauma, a tonsillectomy, or compressed blood vessels leading to the face, brain, and neck may all contribute. 

How is Eagle syndrome diagnosed?

Diagnosis of this condition can be difficult, as many other conditions share its symptoms. In many cases, a specialist is needed to rule out other conditions. A physical exam to feel for a long styloid process is the first step, and a CT scan or X-ray may also be used. 

What are the treatments for Eagle syndrome?

Surgery to shorten the styloid process is the main treatment for Eagle syndrome. Other treatment options include NSAIDs, steroids, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and local anesthetics. 

Where can I find out more about Eagle syndrome?


Eagle Syndrome Articles