Eagles Syndrome

Eagles syndrome is characterized by recurrent pain in the oropharynx and face due to an elongated styloid process or calcified stylohyoid ligament.

eagles syndrome

The styloid process is a slender outgrowth at the base of the temporal bone, immediately posterior to the mastoid apex.

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It lies caudally, medially, and anteriorly toward the maxilla-vertebral-pharyngeal recess (which contains carotid arteries, internal jugular vein, facial nerve, glossopharyngeal nerve, vagal nerve, and hypoglossal nerve).

With the stylohyoid ligament and the small horn of the hyoid bone, the styloid process forms the stylohyoid apparatus, which arises embryonically from the Reichert cartilage of the second branchial arch.

Eagle defined the length of a normal styloid process at 2.5-3.0 cm.
Age / Sex of Eagles Syndrome

It tends to occur in the age group between 30-50yrs of age and is more common in women.

Sign and Symptom of Eagles Syndrome

• This syndrome was characterized by symptoms typically occurring after pharyngeal trauma or tonsillectomy.
• A unilateral sore throat, dysphagia, tinnitus.
• It manifests as a nagging dull, long-term ache in the throat, sometimes radiating to the ipsilateral ear and the sensation of a foreign body in the throat.
• Occasionally, it manifests as odynophagia, dysphonia, increased salivation, and headache.
• Bilateral involvement is quite common but does not always involve bilateral symptoms. No significant difference is detectable between the right and left sides.
• There is presence of pain on turning head and pain on opening mouth
• There is also symptoms of pain in face, throat with bloodshot eyes, sinusitis
• The person may also feel dizziness; there may be the pain on extending tongue…

Investigations for Eagles Syndrome

• Blood work is required to exclude possible systemic diseases.
• CBC count is obtained if the infection is suspected.
• Lateral view radiographs
• CT scan
• MRI scan

Treatment for Eagles Syndrome

• Analgesics
• Anticonvulsants
• Antidepressant
• Local infiltration with steroids or long-acting local anesthetic agents
• Orthopantomogram (panoramic view)

Only severe cases, which do not respond to analgesics and anti-inflammatory
medications, require surgery.

Eagles Syndrome is classified as

1. The classical stylohyoid syndrome: It occurs after tonsillectomy. It is presented with a dull ache in the lateral pharyngeal wall and ipsilateral ear.
2. Stylocarotid syndrome: it is associated with cervical pain, ocular and facial pain. The pain is caused due to irritation of the carotid artery.

Eagles Syndrome can be managed by

• Analgesics
• Anticonvulsants
• Antidepressant
• Local infiltration with steroids or long-acting local anesthetic agents
• Surgery is the preferred management modality.

Complications of Eagles Syndrome

• Neck pain
• Facial pain
• Dysphonia
• Dysphagia

Prognosis of Eagles Syndrome

Overall success rate of treatment is about 80% and recovery is fast after surgery.

Eagles Syndrome

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