An ENT confirmed Eagle Syndrome, bilateral. This was after excluding dental issue, eyestrain or problems, TMJ, stroke, etc (fI have a serious family history and PAD, personally). The muscle relaxant my md gave me to try for a week last spring worked the best for the pain, but put me to sleep so I discontinued it.
I went to a neurologist in August bec of 5 months of pain. It is located in front of ears, behind jaws, radiating up to eyes and down to throat--adams apple and the back of my neck feels stiff. I have since had periods of double vision, ears ringing or throbbing, and increasing difficulty swallowing. I was missing several days of work at a time, he put me on the anti-seizure stuff they are using now which allows me to work but not effectively. Took me off analgesics. It feels like I have the headache and sore throat of strep throat all the time, just less or more depending on the level of the Depakote. My ENT doctor says he does not do or recommend the surgery for eagle syndrome; could my headaches be problems from a blood vessel growing into my ear or what? I am deeply depressed due to the debillitation of my life from the pain. Who should I go to for a second opinion? What should I ask for? I do not have a history of depression before this condition. I am 53 and female.
I think you need another opinion. Have you discovered anything since you wrote this? I am 53 also and have Eagles Syndrome. I'm in the process of trying to get to a doctor who treats this. Write some more if you have gotten some help.
I'm a 49 year old male.
I had surgery about 1.5 years ago to remove my elongated styloid process. Had one good year, symptom free after that and then slowly pain returned in the same area. However, I no longer have the foreign body sensation and I don't have much problem swallowing. The pain is more like a muscle spasm. A cortisone injection gave me 3 more months pain free. Another cortisone injection produced no results. I suspect that I'm experiencing problems with the stylohyoid ligament re: calcification or ossification and will have to look at further surgery with my surgeon in Victoria BC
I saw three specialists before him, none of whom recommended or was willing to do surgery.
Basically I'm happy I went through with the surgery even though it didn't last. It just amazes me how big a **** shoot the treatment of this condition is.
Even my current surgeon, an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist always says to me... "you know as much as I do".
I hear talk of Prolotherapy (injecting irritants to provoke the bodies natural healing process) but not much concrete evidence.
I wish the best for all you Eagle's Syndrome sufferers.
I was diagnosed with eagle syndrome in 2004. Before that all dentists told me I had TMJ. The oral surgeon who did the surgery told me that the pain sometimes would come back. I had the surgery.. but my styloid process was not removed, I think the tip was fractured. I was find for about a year and a half and then the pain slowly came back and is now worse than before. This is really frustrating. I read somewhere that if the styloid process is completely removed, the pain would go away. Not sure if this is true.
I am doing research on my own as I have had sharp eye pain for 5 years, pain in neck shooting into ear, on and off teeth pain (eye, ear and teeth are in good condition), yet they continue to hurt.Constant ringing in ears. Last year have had trouble swallowing and since June 2008 have had pain in throat and neck, Pain in throat is like pressure and trying not to cry, but much worse, It stings and burns after talking very long. Now I have pressure pain in my chest, Have had EKG, xrays-heart and lungs all good. I have had GERD and Barretts for 20 and 10 years. ENT says have LPR, and Hyoid bone inflammation. I go back to drs next week and going to ask if I have Eagle Syndrome. Also I think pain in chest is Cricopharyngeal Spasm, all makes sense.
I am 21 years old and male. I havent been thouroughly diagnosed with eagles syndrome yet but I am 100 percent sure I have it. I am a very smart guy and do NOT trust what everyone says to me especially the so called "professionals". I can literally feel and SEE the stylohyoid process sticking out in the back of my throat but NOOO everyone told me its all in my head and I couldnt possibly have such a rare entity. What should I do? I am on my own with no health insurance and I dont even know who can treat this! Please help! If I leave this untreated what could happen?
I had a CT done this week after an xray failed to confirm. Says both styloids are elongated but without any inflammation or fracture. I've had throat pain, sensation of something in throat, ear pain, face pain, headaches, neck pain. Pain is 24 hours a day. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT EAGLE"S SYNDROME IS WHERE I LIVE or thinks that what I have has any connection. BEEN to over 20 doctors. THis has gone on for 2 years. I've taken every drug that can be taken without any benefit. I live near the finest clinics and hospitals. No doctor will even look up the syndrome. They just shrug their shoulders and say sorry, youll have to live with it. Does anyone find any relief by eating or laying in a certain position? How long are your styloids on your tests? I've had every test there is, endoscopies, colonoscopies, xrays, ct's, bloodwork, swallow tests, larygnoscopies. No other test shows anything except the CT. Because this seems to be such a rare syndrome, no one wants to do the research to help us. They only want to help people that they can give a pill to to keep quiet. This has ruined my life . . . .
Diagnosed with Eagles in Sept 2008, age 40. Mother had tongue cancer in same spot on left 5 years ago, so had it checked out and came back with Eagles. CT scan shows ossification of stylohyoid ligament and 3 lumps in neck. ENT dr says "can't feel anything" in neck. Did scope up nose (UGH!) and says have reflux disease and gave Nexium. Did nothing to help. Cost a fortune! Feels like have something stuck in throat, always clearing throat, hurts to chew food, hurts to turn neck. Going for 2nd opinion. hopefully something comes out of it. going to same dr that treatmenter mother.
I was diagnosed with Eagles in March of 2006 after going to 2 ENT doctors and having my tonsils removed because they thought it was some kind of cyst or tumor in my tonsils. My symptoms were the foreign object in the throat feeling, trouble swallowing, food getting stuck in my throat, sore throat 24/7, voice changes. After they removed my tonsils the previous December, I still got food stuck in my throat a couple months later and I still felt the huge lump in my throat... hence the diagnosis of Eagles in March. I figured since it was so difficult to find a doctor and treatment was hard to find I'd deal with it until the symptoms became so bad which was this past year. I've had debilitating ear pain and neck pain. Severe headaches that trigger migraines. And I have been constantly clearing my throat. Luckily I live near a bunch of learning hospitals so I called around for 3-4 months before finding gold... I just had the surgery and it went great. I am about 3 wks post op and most of my symptoms are gone. I've got some residual pain which should go away when the swelling is gone, but nothing like it was. Here is the link to my doctor for those that have had trouble like me looking for one.
Just wondering if anyone pre or diagnosed with this has had numbness in the areas of the face neck scalp - toungue numbness etc VS pain. <<< CAN anyone help me on that one PLEASE !
Once when having an attack, facial numbness and fast heart beat, I layed on my left side with left side of head on a sofa arm, and almsot EVERYTHING went away instantly.
I do have C spine spondylosis (osteophystes), some some other friends, doctors say that what I am experienceing is not likey from this. They said it would radiate down and not up into the face and head area.
S-O-B am i confused.
My friend was confirmed diagnosed today, me - I still have multiple symptoms of this monster. Had had to be persistent and see 2 specialists to get a confirmed diagnosis, I pray that he does not havbe the vascular form from what I read. I am scared for myself as well.
I;ve had CT / MRIs of head and neck - seen a Neuro twice who never heard of Eagles Syndrome (great) / had corotid artery U-Sounds for concerns of plaque release and TIAs - all this came back clean - which is good dont get me wrong.
When we were kids / teens we used to crack our own necks alot to relieve tension in them - oops. And I had 2 whiplash like injuries to the neck area.
convincing docs that this thing E syndrome exists, even if they buy in - they make money on prescriptions and multiple visits - so educate yourself yourself and frustrate them instead of you being frustrated yourself.
OK - I am done on this - its hard to talk about it without getting mad when you feel like you are the only one who cares ....
Just a followup. I did not go to another ENT specialist bec he said the problem with the idea of doing surgery is that my styloid growth(s) were not big enough to warrant surgery. Since I agree with a conservative approach to surgery, I checked it off and went onto the next item. I had each other doctor look at the MRIs, CATs, etc that I already had kept a copy of.
I had a neck MRI/xray (can't recall) by a trusted back doctor who told me I now have osteoarthritis in my upper spine. I then asked the following question: could the pain/inflammation in my head, upper back neck and more recently, upper shoulders, be aggravated by the fact that I have large breasts (which get saggier with age) and my bra straps sit in an unusually deep dip in my shoulder bones and possibly aggravate the many nerves that go through the area?
I have been informally advised via another (web doctor) that I should consult with a plastic surgeon. I think that the conclusion here is that I have a set of conditions, any one of which might not be symptomatic but together they cause pain. I have used the pain blocker for over a year now and it works about 70-80% but I am vigilant about keeping the prescription around, as I become debilitated without it--but it is the same debiitation as I had before I started it. I don't call that addicted, I call that medically necessary.
So my next step is to do that. I just decided that there is only so much time and money I can devote to consultations and that many doctors look at the human body like the story of the wise men and the elephant--they see through a pinhole what should be looked at with a wide lens. It's been more helpful taking the wide view when I go to them--for the most part they don't see pain as disfunctional. One thing I do do when I go now is I don't take my meds and put on a happy face because they need to hear how it is when it's NOT working well.
I have read several people cases and can say that these are all the symptoms I had for three years. Keep in mind I had seen many specialist and had several dx testing, like MRI, CT, Pana, xray and so forth. Finally I met a wonderful doctor @ Standford University via TV and emailed him. I had been to about 15 specialist who thought I was crazy. Ended up I had a broken bone called the styloid process growing out my throat and growing on my hyoid bone. It was so painful and nothing would get rid of the pain. My wonderful Doctor I found diagnosed me last year. I had so many treatments and medications and misdiagnoses. What had happened to me is:
I had severe agonizing ear pain and problems with swallowing. My shoulder and arms went numb and I eventually ended up in the ER 3x because I was having seizure like movements and throbbing beats of lights. I could not hardly speak when it got so horribly painful. Most the time it was severe ear pain and throat pain. You could see the redish purple marks in the back of my throat where the bone was trying to come out.
Since I had the surgery about 14 months ago my stabbing throat pain is gone. I still have ear pain half the time but at least I can control it with some prescribed medicine. The doctor told me it would take about 16 months to heal. I also was treated for TMJ for two years. That was a misdiagnoses and 40,000 dollars late without insurance. I would hope not only patients but doctors would read these notes and make comments. I would like to get rid of my ear pain all the time. So to some maybe I can help and to others that have had the surgery or a doctor, can you help me with my post op ear pain.
Respectfully to all and hope this helps
OH MY GOSH young lady. Deb I am sorry to hear that, ok, this thread has me so covinced that I should get nuclear imaging done (as far as I know the only true way to accurately look at the Styloid process and corresponding styloid ligments).
Any of these other symtpoms ring a bell (bad tinitus joke):
Ringing in the ears, somtimes so bad it causes me to talk louder. Not always consistent. The pitch changes when I clench my jaw - for what ever thats worth.
Opthalmic migraines - this was a great read i found about migraines that do not really cause pain, but visual disturbances such as sensation of too much *white light / bluriness* (possibly the same as the pulses of light Deb referred to.
numbness like crazy, throat - like its trying to close, lips, side of the face, localized parts of the scalp, neck for sure, toungue on the affected side, nose and cheakbones, sometimes arm
my typing on my left (affected side) ***** - I make many typos as though my left arm cannot keep up with my right
vertigo - dizziness, really, who needs alcohol (which makes things worse btw), sometimes I feel like sitting around vs. going for a good walk, I am so bloody dizzy
Pain / Pressure in the ear - like eustachian tube wont pop on an airplane - Otalgia i guess is that word ...
Sinuses - on the left again - pretty rough most times and when docs take that little flashlight to the ears and nostril - they say ears look ok, and sinuses are only a llittle inflamed - NASONEX IS NOT GOOD FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE - HAAALLOOOOOOO .... and sinus meds do not address the root of the problem PAL !
Itchiness under the skin, certain spots like knuckles tricep are on the wonderful left side again
Thermal changes - sometimes the left hand goes so cold, knuckles get purple.
overall, again - MRIs / CT / untlrasound of corotids / saw a Neuro Twice / and most doctors write this off to other more common possibilities (break out the good ol presrciption pad for anti-inflams or anti depressants for stress)
IMS - intra muscular stim (which is like accupuncture right into muscles) for the neck area - initial injury site of 2 whiplash like injuries
Naturopath - Cranio Sacral therapy - AMAZING, best remedy yet, for much more than just potential EAgles Syndrome - finding a certified practioner is challenging sometimes - BUT WORTH even if not covered by any plan.
Advil / antinflams - hmmmm - try to avoid, also mixing with asprin is HIGH RISK for ulcers man, talk to a GI specialist about that - OK, I`m niether a doc or a specialist - be careful popping any pills gang
Vitamin D - seems to help control muscle twitches I also heard really good things about fish oil, for brain function and CNS health - not just the Omega 3-6-9 **** everyone has at home - fish oil is more pure and expensive, many health stores arent even educated as to its potential - last person I saw tried to sell me coconutu oil instead (not sure if its a fair substitute, sorry ... )
Hi, I am 24 and I have been suffering from all these symptoms for more than a year and about an hour ago I casually discovered the Eagle's Syndrome, which befits all of my symptoms perfectly!! I've been to so many different doctors and most thought that I was crazy.
I have suffered a great deal thinking I might have had many terrible diseases, since doctors wouldn't even consider that it wasn't stress related...
I know I have to be tested in order to be sure but this just makes all my bizarre symptoms fall into place.
Anyways, I do have a question which I don't think I have read before: Does the tinnitus go away after surgery? I know it isn't life-threatening, but it sure is excruciating!
I wish you all the best of luck!!
Thanks for all the posts!
Hi folks - I read of a great non surgical intervention called Prolotherapy, specifically used for the treatment of Eagles - IF someone is truely and accurately diagnosed. Sounds tricky because you may want to take a doctor's diagnosis BUT then use a natural practioners / Naturopaths remedy.
Prolotherapy in general from what I read involves injecting chemicals that naturally occur in the body (see google for det's on that one) AND / OR a mixture of dextrose. So the injection intentionally causes inflamation and "tricks" the body into a much more rapid rate of healing.
SO - if someone is a candidate, what I have read so far shows positive results (case numbers or stats I don't have), AND IT IS NON SURGICAL. There are also techniques that special chiropracters can perform that can re-align the c spine and shoulder girdle in treating the actual root cause of the condition (as most have probably read about neck injury / whiplash / styloid process or ligament damage).
I still have numerous - almost all - symptoms of this "pain in the ear" coming and going, but am not yet confirmed an Eagle.
Good luck to all - hope this helps.
Best intervention for ME so far? Cranio-sacral etchnique, a form of energy balancing performed by a Nauropath / or holistic Health Practitioner.
I am 28 years old female and i have just been diagnosed with eagle syndrome. The doctor wants to do surgery and cut the styliod and he also wants to remove my tonsils. Im not sure if i should get a second opinion or just have the procedure done. I have read about it growing back and he symptoms returning. I'm just tired of dealing with the pain and the headaches. I really wish that i could find some anwsers to my questions. If any one has any suggestions please let me know.
I am a 43 year male, having similar symptoms - ringing, stuffy ears, facial/jaw tightness and pain and a constant dizziness (mild unsteadiness) since last 4 months.
Currently exploring TMJ investiagtions/treatment.
Greatly appreciate if you will please share the details of the dr you found at Stanford Univ?
Just went to the dentist today. Have been having throbbing neck pain for three years off and on. The only way to relieve pressure is by pressing down on my neck and holding. Sometimes it goes all the way to my ear. I also always feel like I have to clear my throat.
The dentist suggested that it may be Eagles syndrome. I have an appointment with an ENT this month.
Does this sound like it could be Eagles syndrome? Anything to bring to the doc to help him diagnose?
I was just diagnosed today. I've always had lots of sore throats and ear infections, but I had never seen an ENT until this month. My doctor referred me to one years ago, but I never went.
My doctor said the recovery from surgery is rough, and the verdict is still out on whether it works. He also thinks I am too old to get my tonsils out if I only get 2-3 sore throats a year.
If the pain gets intolerable we will talk again.
I am relieved to have a label for all of these problems I have had over the last few years. I had convinced myself it was brain cancer.
Does anyone else get nerve pain in their face? I need a root canal on the opposite side, so I thought the nerve pain was related to that. I have it on both sides, but one side is signifigantly longer than the other.
Anyway, I got to suffer through tons of tests and ex-rays, now I get even more this week for the root canal. wonder if my endontist couldn't have diagnosed this when I see him on Thursday. I could have saved $200.
Also, as much as I avoid unneeded antibiotics and elective surgeries, I hate spending that kind of money to get nothing done. But at least I feel a little vindicated and slightly relieved.
The symptoms are those of Eagles syndrome . Two possible causes of the syndrome are elongation of the styloid process and ossification of the stylohyoid or stylomandibular ligaments. Surgery is the only treatment of the elongated Styloid process . Please go for a three dimensional CT scan to confirm the diagnosis . and consult another ENT surgeon for a second opinion . Hope this helps you . Take care and regards !
I am 39 years old and I've been having a combination of upper cervical pain and facial pain for the past 10 years or so. I have been going through hell at times and still looking for a solution for this problem that so far seems to have no real name. The other day for the first time I came across Eagle Syndrome and am trying to find out more about it. If anyone can help based on my story, that would be great.
At a very young age (1 or 2 or so) I had a tonsillectomy. And for a good deal of my life I've been having all kinds of ENT problems on the right side of my head (no problems on left side at all). Among other things Eustachian tube and nose often painfully congested, the feeling of a 'lump' in my throat (although not as prominent as many other people describe it here), radiating pains from my neck to my head (occipital area). At first only facial pain presented itself and I had a good deal of (unnecessary) dental work (multiple root canals) done. And later severe neck pain (at night far worse than during day) became the main problem.
The doctors (multiple ENTs, neurologist etc) haven't been able to diagnose it and have been on different kinds of pain medication, some of which were opiates. But the pain is still prominent (especially at night, can be horrible). My pains vary with time, sometimes 'okay' weeks, sometimes horrible weeks in which I almost don't sleep.
One thing someone here wrote (Ed_Monton_guy) wrote is remarkably similar (and haven't read about elsewhere). I too find that when the pain is bad it can sometimes miraculously *completely* disappear when I lie on my left side putting my head on something slightly higher (like my arm, or sofa arm). So far no doctor or chiropractor has understood this, yet it is very true. Is this a clue? Are there more people out there who have this?
Or any other information on whether I may have Eagle Syndrome would be great.
I was diagnosed with Eagles syndrome about a year ago. I was just glad to know what it was. I had most the symptoms that you all had. I get ringing in my ears, tingling head pain, numbness in the neck, pain in the neck and headaches that can last weeks.
When it first started I got terrible spasms in my head, especially the temple area. I also got terrible headaches. It finally got a little better after about 3 or 4 months but it still lingered. I was wondering if anyone else had similiar experiences WITH THE SPASMS?
Since I last posted I (hopefully) have made some progress. A high suspicion for Eagle's Syndrome has been found and I will be having surgery within the next few weeks. I wrote more about it on another forum; if you like, have a look here (weebo):
Although I am not familiar with it, the spasms do make me think of a condition called 'typical facial pain' in which a nerve in the head is compressed by a vein or artery. As far as I know that can cause spasms in the head and it is sometimes resolved by a procedure called Micro Vascular Decompression (MVD); an MRI should show it. Not sure it applies, but maybe this helps.
Good luck, the spasms must be very annoying and I hope you get them resolved soon.
I am 44 years old , just diagnosed with Eagle's. I have been lucky enough to actually work for a dentist that treats people with head and neck pain, TMJ problems and head aches. We have an I-Cat machine(3d dental imaging of the head & neck) We initially thought I had a TMJ issue, until the CT scan...my styloid ligament is completely calcified and elongated. I get about the same symptoms as the rest of you. I also get numbness in my face, ear feels stuffy,something in my throat, all on the left side. I have researched the hell out of this ...it ***** for all of us. I have called ENT's we refer to on a regular basis , they've done the surgery, don't like it, will do it if they have too. NO THANKS. SO I'm going to try prolotherapy, massage therapy, chelation, and check into other more holistic treatments. I do have a patient that had the surgery. He had to go to NYC (we're in Fl) and 12 weeks post surgery still not 100%. But he does report he is glad he got it done. God Bless, its a painful surgery!!
I will say this...being in the field, it is VERY HARD to diagnose with out the CT. It mimics TMJ problems.
Good Luck to everyone.
Hi All! I am a 44 year old man and I have been having right side throat/neck pain when swallowing that radiates to my right ear. Right ear pain, pain at the base of my skull behind my right ear and all sorts of neurological issues in my head, face and neck. All right-sided. Even blurry vision in my right eye that comes and goes. It doesn't make sense at all.
I saw an ENT in December '08 and again one month later about the ear pain and throat pain. Scoped me both times and sent me on my way. I didn't associate the blurry vision with the other symptoms, so I didn't mention it. Went to the eye doctor to have it checked out. However, when I went in for the exam, I wasn't having the blurring problem. Eyes checked out fine with only slight correction needed on the right (same as I always needed).
So the wierd thing is that I realized all of these symptoms seem to come and go more or less at the same time and in long cycles that seem to last months at a time. I have had 3 long cycles since this came on. The last one was going on for about 5 months, so I sucked it up and went to the doctor again. When I mentioned the eye problem and the cycles, the doctor got concerned and rushed me off to the Opthamologist. I guess he was concerned about the possibility of MS. However, the Optho didn't see any problems with the optic nerve, so that dimished the MS concern. No other problems other than more significant correction was noted (because I was substantially blurry at the time of the exam). He wanted me to get glasses. I told him they wouldn't do much good since the blurriness comes and goes, so exactly where would the set the prescription? He still can't explain why the blurriness comes and goes.
So back to the doctor about the rest of the throat/neck/ear/head pains problems. I asked him to please order an MRI or something so we can get to the bottom of this once and for all. I really hated to do it, but I mentioned that I found Eagle Syndrome on the internet and my symptoms are remarkably similar. He had never heard of it....of course. He did note to the radiologist to look for Eagle Syndrome. I figured he looked it up after my visit. So he ordered regular head x-rays and an MRI of the neck. 3 weeks later I finally heard back. The doctor clarified the results to me by e-mail because the nurse couldn't explain it to me sufficiently over the phone. This is what he wrote: "The MRI showed mild narrowing of the lower two discs but on the left side, not the right. Also, they could not rule out Eagle's syndrome. They recommended a CT to better look at the calcifications of the small bones in the area. I have ordered it.".
So I don't know if I am hoping for Eagle Syndrome or not. If it's a simple snip and the problems go away, I guess I am. I have a fear of being put under general anesthesia, however. I'm such a pain in the ***. We'll see what the CT shows........
Patients with vague head and neck pain symptoms can lead to an extensive differential diagnosis. One easily overlooked but important cause of chronic pain is Eagle’s syndrome (ES). Beginning in 1937, Dr. Watt Eagle published a series of articles describing a constellation of symptoms associated with an elongated styloid process. This syndrome that bears his name is associated with two classic presentations. The first, which the otolaryngologist is more familiar with, is throat pain radiating to the ear in a post-tonsillectomy patient. The second, and lesser-known presentation, is constant throbbing pain throughout either the internal or external carotid artery distributions.
A patient exhibiting the symptoms associated with Eagle’s syndrome, may consult their family physician or an otolaryngologist, a neurologist, a surgeon (neurosurgeon, maxillofacial or oral surgeon), a dentist or even a psychiatrist in order to be diagnosed. Persistent pain and other symptoms could aggravate the psychological state of a patient. By the time the syndrome is actually diagnosed, many patients have already visited some of these doctors, who have unsuccessfully tried to treat their symptoms.
Symptoms depend on a variety of factors, including the length and width of the styloid process, the angle and direction of its deviation and the degree of ossification. The pathogenesis of the syndrome was described by Eagle, who discussed types.
The first type, ‘‘classic Eagle’s syndrome,’’ typically occurs in patients after tonsillectomy, although it can also occur after any other type of pharyngeal surgery. A palatable mass may be observed in the tonsillar fossa, its palpation sometimes exacerbating the patient’s symptoms. Symptoms include ear pain, neck pain extending to the oral cavity and the maxilla, dysphonia, dysphagia, odynophagia, persistent sore throat, the sensation of a foreign body in the pharynx, painful trismus <25 mm, vertigo and tinnitus. Pain is also observed when turning the head or extending the tongue. Apart from turning the head, yawning can also trigger symptoms, particularly those resembling migraine. Other symptoms may include tongue pain in general, a sensation of increased salivation, alterations in taste, vocal changes, pain in the upper limbs, chest, and temporomandibular joint, facial paresthesia, pharyngeal spasm, pain triggered by the movement of the mandible, cough, dizziness, or sinusitis. Eagle’s syndrome has also been reported as the most important cause of secondary glossopharyngeal neuralgia or atypical craniocervical pain. All of these symptoms are attributed to the irritation of cranial nerves V, VII, IX or X, all of which are situated very close to the styloid process. The observation of symptoms after tonsillectomy generates the hypothesis that these nerves are entrapped in the locally formed granular tissue. Trauma to the soft tissues during tonsillectomy may cause bone formation, leading to an elongated styloid process or ossified stylohyoid ligament. Ossification typically appears from 2 to 12 months after the trauma. Isolated rheumatologic symptoms are rarely observed.
In the stylo-carotid artery syndrome, an elongated styloid process deviating slightly from its normal direction can impinge the internal or external carotid artery, stimulating the sympathetic nerve plexus accompanying the artery and causing pain during artery’s palpation. Stimulation of the internal carotid artery causes pain along the artery that is sometimes accompanied by pain in the eye and parietal cephalalgia. These symptoms can result in wrong diagnoses, such as cluster headache or migraine. Symptoms may also include aphasia, sight disturbances, weakness or even syncope episodes. Stimulation of the external carotid artery causes facial pain, mainly in the area under the eyes. Histological examination of the vessel wall in such cases may reveal arteriosclerosis. Stylo-carotid artery syndrome might also results in arterial variation.
The diagnosis of Eagle’s syndrome is based on four different parameters:
(1) clinical manifestations
(2) digital palpation of the process in the tonsillar fossa
(3) radiological findings and
(4) lidocaine infiltration test. During the lidocaine infiltration test, lidocaine anesthetic is administered to the area where the styloid process is palpable in the tonsillar fossa. If the patient’s symptoms and local sensitivity subside the test result is considered positive and Eagle’s syndrome is diagnosed
A patient exhibiting the symptoms associated with Eagle’s syndrome, may consult their family physician or an otolaryngologist, a neurologist, a surgeon (neurosurgeon, maxillofacial or oral surgeon), a dentist or even a psychiatrist in order to be diagnosed. Persistent pain and other symptoms could aggravate the psychological state of a patient. By the time the syndrome is actually diagnosed, many patients have already visited some of these doctors, who have unsuccessfully tried to treat their symptoms. This is quite understandable considering that the clinical manifestations of Eagle’s syndrome resemble those of many other diseases. Consequently, it is quite difficult to make a correct diagnosis based solely on clinical manifestations. However, it is very important for physicians and dentists to include Eagle’s syndrome in their differential diagnosis when treating patients experiencing pain in the cervicofacial and cervicopharyngeal regions.
A 3D-CT scan is considered the gold standard in the radiological diagnosis of Eagle's Syndrome. It provides an accurate measurement of the length and angulation of the styloid process and is considered to be the best supplement to the plain x-ray.
It is important to note that an elongated styloid process does not necessarily signify Eagle’s syndrome, as the majority of individuals exhibiting this anatomical anomaly experience no symptoms. Additionally, although an elongated process is found bilaterally in most cases, patients typically display unilateral symptoms. Also it is noteworthy that the occurrence of the syndrome correlates with the length of the styloid process, its width and its angulation. In fact a number of mechanisms can result in the onset of the syndrome and are responsible for the variety of symptoms. Consequently, patients may experience any number of symptoms, which often mislead physicians and necessitate the use of other data such as radiological findings to confirm the diagnosis. Both physicians (head and neck, oral and maxillofacial surgeons) and dentists must have a high index of suspicion for this clinical entity. Eagle’s syndrome should be included in the differential diagnosis of cervicofacial and pharyngeal pain. The fact that it is often excluded in such cases results in underdiagnosis and, consequently, an underestimation of the incidence of this syndrome.
I have also been dealing with a number of these symptoms for a little over a year now (including ear pain, neck pain, foreign body sensation, the feeling of someone pulling on the back of my tounge on the affected side, the sensation of hypersalivation, etc) and after having been to the emergency room a few times desperately trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong, I was finally referred to an ENT. I had my appointment with him this morning and although I've not yet been diagnosed, the only thing he mentioned it may be is Eagle's Syndrome. After having read a lot of your stories I can say that I am relieved that he did not jump to the conclusions that some of your doctors have, which lead to being misdiagnosed countless times, but also fearful of what lies ahead if I am given this diagnoses, as it appears neither surgery or any other method of treatment has been %100 effective thus far and also because of the lack of knowledge on this condition. I am only 20 years old and have a lot of things I would like to accomplish in my life and the thought of trying to achieve all of that while dealing with the pain and irritation just seems unmanageable. Currently I work in a call center and have to talk non stop for 8 hours every day and in the past few months it's really begun to affect my job performance. After talking for so long my throat gets really sore and it feels almost impossible for me to talk, resulting in me having to take extra breaks. Along with that and the foreign body sensation I also experience a pulling and snapping feeling in my neck in the same area right along the side of my throat towards where the thyroid gland is. My ENT suggested that this could be due to the fact that I am very slender and don't have much fat to cushion the ligaments and muscles so they may be overlapping each other. I'm not sure if I totally believe that (maybe believe is the wrong word, perhaps I just don't understand) but at least this doctor hasn't shooed me away as though he thinks I'm crazy, so I'll take his word for now. He said he will get back to me soon and I'm not sure if he will be giving me a definite diagnoses at that time or if he will want to bring me in for further testing. Based on your experiences, if he goes right to the diagnoses without doing any other tests do you think I should suggest the 3D CT scan? He already mentioned that he does not do nor does he reccommend having surgery, and I must say I'm a bit skeptical of it myself, but I would like to explore all options and if surgery is one of them, then I would like to be %100 sure that my left styloid process is infact larger than normal..
I've read your story, sorry to hear your suffering from these things at this young age.
I'm not a doctor, but given what you are writing Eagle's syndrome may be well worth looking into. Getting Eagle's syndrome diagnosed takes an ENT with specific knowledge and experience with this syndrome, simply because it is hard to diagnose and it is often misdiagnosed. A 3D CT-scan is the best imaging for this diagnosis, so if I were you I think I would ask for that.
I believe pretty much the only treatment for Eagle's syndrome is surgery. So if you want to explore this it is probably best to look for an ENT who knows all about Eagle's syndrome, so he can also make the right scan, and possibly do the surgery if he thinks you have a 'high suspicion' for Eagle's syndrome. Eagle's syndrome can't be diagnosed with 100% certainty, that's why they look for a 'high suspicion' and only after successful surgery one knows for sure that you had it.
I am from New Brunswick, Canada. So far I have not heard back from the ENT who suggested Eagle's Syndrome but I think I'm going to give his office a call on Monday. I'll be sure to suggest the 3D CT scan at that time.
I'm 35 Years old and thorugh CT's was just diagnosed with Eagle's Syndome. My main symptom is sharp pain behind my right ear and pain swallowing (although I do not have the foreign body sensation in my throat). The ENT is giving me two surgical options. The first is going in though the back of my mouth which involves removal of my tonsils in the process. The other is going in through the neck behind my jaw. I was wondering if anyone had experiences with either type of surgical procedures.
Had my styloid removed over 4 years ago and went pain free for almost a year. I've since been diagnosed with Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia. The Neuro Surgeon I just consulted said that having the styloid removed can be successful for Eagles Syndrome but that often GN is associated and the return of the pain is due to the GN and the reason it was gone for a year is that the removal of the styloid is a traumatic enough procedure that the nerve goes dormant due to being roughed up. If pain returns, it's very unlikely that the styloid grew back.
I'm now in line for surgery to sever the ninth cranial nerve. He has recommended that as opposed to micro vascular decompression because MVD has not proven to be a permanent solution with the possibility that the vessel or sponges will move. He noted that, of the 7 procedures he has done, all have had good results over years and no sign of numbness or muscle sagging. Hope that's helpful.
Does anyone with confirmed Eagle's syndrome experience "popping" in their neck when they swallow?
I have been dealing with symptoms that seem very similar Eagle's syndrome for about 10 months now. Foreign body sensation in right side of throat, submandibular pressure sensation and discomfort in right side of neck. Seems if I talk a lot, my voice starts to feel weak. The one thing I do have that I have yet to find anyone else with Eagle's syndrome descirbe is that something literally pops in the right side of my neck when I swallow. Like a muscle or tendon (or bone?). I can feel it when I place my fingers under my jaw when I swallow.
Visits to 2 ENT's, a gastroenterologist, a chiropractor, my dentist and two oral surgeons have left me with essentially no answers. I have yet to have a routine lateral x-ray on my neck, but no calcification was identified on CT scan with and without contrast and no calcification was observed on a panoramic x-ray done by my dentist. My family practice doctor, 1 of the ENT's I visited and both oral surgeons suggested that it "might be" Eagle's syndrome but they could not confirm based on the limited diagnostics performed. Neither the dentist or oral surgeons thought it was TMJ.
Seems like no one is really that interested in helping me figure out what this is...I guess maybe because it is not "life threatening". All I can say is that it is this is very uncomfortable and frustrating....
I find this group so interesting because I think I am a verified member. Many doctors, many rt. side only symptoms-tenderness under ear, above eye pain, jaw and tooth pain, all chronic with weeks of trouble then quieting down. Getting worse.
I am a nurse in West Texas and have pretty much seen every type of specialist there is. I did have a 3D scan for eagles but only showed styloid processes elongated (4ml) but symmetrical. I would love to find a dr. in Texas who would be knowledgable about this syndrome. Suggestions, anyone?
I think i have been diagnosed with eagles.
The dr i saw was very reluctant to operate and said, if i can find a dr overseas in another country, to go for it.
This is what my ct report said after almost 10 yrs of symptoms
the process measured 2.7 in length, with a further 1cm of the proximal stylohyoid ligament demonstrating calcification/ossification. the left styloid process and comparison measures 1.7 cm, and the mid stylohyoid ligament also demonstrates some ossification/calcification. the cartoid sheath does not clearly appear distorted on either side.
conclusion- slight asymmetry of the stylohyoid ligament and styloid processes, with the right side being longer than the left. this is uncertain of clinical signifigance and is a common finding in asymptomatic patients.
The dr i saw didn't really explain this to me properly. I usually see another dr who is very clear. Could someone please explain this to me? thanks angie
You seem to know alot about eagles. Could you please help me with some info, and maybe a few surgeons who will do an operation. he was making out to me that pretty much, i wont get the op done in Australia ( my country) he kinda treated me like a Hypochondriac. Thanks
I am so relieved to have found this forum. For about two years I had suffered with excruciating stiff neck pain and sore throats that appeared to be seasonal. Finally I decided I could not live without having this condition treated.
I visited an ENT who actually asked my primary physician if I was prone to hypochondria as I showed no signs of an infection inflammation or tissue distress exceptI did have an enlarged gland under the right side of my jaw to which he proclaimed it was cancerous. I was skeptical re: the cancer diagnosis as I had this enlarged gland for at least 20 years. But the pain was annoying at best and other times debilitating. He wanted me to take a biopsy. I did not want to risk seeding if it was indeed malignant and wanted them to remove it and biopsy it once it was out. To his credit he insisted the biopsy be done, it was negative.
My initial MRI was negative and I was then scheduled for a CT scan with contrast when the ENT gave me the Eagles syndrome Dx. He suggested I live with the pain and use OTC analgesics. I left his office being relieved my condition was real.
Two years later I have now developed tinnitus and difficulty swallowing. I also wonder if the blurred vision and glaucoma I have developed over the past few years could be related to pressure on the nerve or carotid artery.
The tinnitus is enough to drive me to get the surgery.
After a year of increasing problems my dentist did a pana. to see if I had TMJ. He found the elongated styloid process. The ENT said it was "Enigmatic" and there was a lot of research on it, maybe one or two papers here and there. And he didn't think it was causing my problems, so he isn't going to worry about it. Easy for him to say. Now I'm looking for a doctor who will deal with this seriously. I'd rather live with the horrible symptoms than go to another doctor who tells me to relieve the stress in my life and I'll be better.
Anyone have advice on how to find a doctor to help me?
I am a patient from Sri Lanka and my name is Indika (Male/38 yrs/University Lecturer)
I have been diagnosed as Enlarged Bilateral Styloid Process which is seen in 3d ct . My symptoms in its chronological order as follows.
1. Pain, irritation and redness in my left eye (20 years)
2. Difficult to swallow (20years)
3. Unusual tiredness coming from throat area (20 years)
4. Drowsiness in left eye (3 years)
5. Palpitations / Difficult to breath from throat area (1 years)
6. Changes in emotions with body movements. (8 years)
Most of these symptoms disappear when I lie on bed and drive. As I feel many of these are related to movements in my left arm.Now I am virtually bed ridden.
I humbly and hopefully expect your valuable medical advice on this and whether it is possible in your country.
I had all the same reply from my Dr's I was Eagle Syndrome Non of the dr's are taught of the Condition because of the original Reports from 1937 A simple snip will cure you. There is a Clinic across the Border from Yuma Az . Sani Dental Group Google them they will cure you 500 $ each side !! you will Lick there Hand from the Releif !!
I have found help The Dr in Atlanta Ga Knew nothing of this Condition I found a Dr in Mexicalli Mexico just over the Border foem Calexico Ca Dr Roberto Takeo Raviera Estalano Maxifacio Surgey He is going to do Sugery on my Mother and Myself as if is a Generic Defect and is Passed on in your DNA The Dr know everything there is to know about Eagle Syndrome the American Dr's just Pilled me up and Shot ne Neck with Cortisone and no releif the Dr in US wanted to Fuse my Neck I found Dr Rivera by Chance and he is a Angel sent to Help Us !! ***@**** He will save you ! The Pain will soon be gone !! March 22 2012 is the Sugery
recently while I was probing around my mouth with my tongue I noticed that there was a bone protruding out from my upper jaw on the left side. I went to the right side and noticed that there was also a bone protruding but it was a lot smaller. Leading up to this I had a one sided headache that persisted for 2 months some days worse than others. This headache still comes and goes and is always on the left side. I was convinced that I had something growing in my brain/skull....the C word. I have also recently noticed that I have a dull aching sensation on the left side of my throat towards the back and sometimes my ear will ache on the left side as well. I also have minor facial pain in my cheeks that sometimes extend up towards my orbital area all on the left side. I had no idea what was going on until I found this "eagle syndrome" thing. I dont want to sit here and self diagnose but I cant help but think that this is what I have. I do not have any symptoms that keep me from going to work everyday but from reading everyone else's posts I'm thinking that it will get worse over time as the bone continues to grow? I don't really want to get surgery so I guess I will just wait and see if things get worse. It's scary to get weird bumps and aches in your mouth and head area. Anyone else have minor symptoms like this?
I had periodic pain in the right side of my jaw / neck / ear for a number of years. It would come out of the blue and would last a few hours / days. Often it happened in the evening and some Advil would be all I'd need. It was always on my right side. As time went by, my doctor and I felt it could be swollen glands from allergies and a medrol dosepak seemed to do the trick. Over time, however, the presentation changed.
I get pain with activity and the pain will start in my right jaw or ear and radiate often to the other side of my neck / ear and down my chest and back. It can be excrutiating at times. It will resolve if I stop what I'm doing and just stay still. It's worse in cold weather. This issue worsened throughout last year until New Year's Day of this year when I had a pain attack that just about put me into a fetal position. Heat, cold, Advil, tylenol, nothing worked. Even another medrol dosepak did nothing.
I ended up sicker and sicker through the month, saw an ENT who told me I had myofascial pain syndrome (I also have fibromyalgia), but blood work indicated Graves Disease. I am on medication for Graves and have been seeing an ENDO for several months. Thinking that this pain could somehow be related to my thyroid, I was put on prednisone and am currently on 17.5 mg / day along with my thyroid medications. I no longer need to take Vicodin for the pain, but do have days with pain episodes.
My symptoms appear to be similar to yours, but I'd like to know if Eagle Syndrome responds to steroids and if there is anyone else who has had to differentiate the pain from Eagle Syndrome with pain from thyroiditis. Also, does activity set off or increase the pain i.e. climbing stairs, carrying items, etc. My carotid arteries are clear. Thanks.
I am a 43 year old femail and was just diagnosed with Eagles Syndrome in April of this year. My first symptoms that we know are associated with the syndrome first occurred in January and February where I had a constant severe sore throat, painful swallowing and lost my voice for over 2 months. After all tests came back negative I told my doctor "I'm not a hypochrondriac" that's when she told me about the extreme small possibility it could be Eagles Syndrome and we then had the xray that proved that it was. I have it on both sides. My Doctor was very straight forward with me and said that she has only done the surgery once about 10 years ago and wouldn't be heartbroken if I chose to seek another physician at UCSD that may be more experienced...love my doctor for being so honest. But I may have another complication, back in Sept. 2011 I started having severe vertigo episodes which could possibly be associated with the syndrome which could lead to stroke, we are still doing tests to determine this. But up until this past weekend my symptoms were minimal and liveable...but Friday I came down with severe throat pain radiating to my jaw, face and ear, pain with extending my tongue, painful swallowing, couldn't eat, trouble drinking and was on Vicodin all weekend...now I'm seriously considering the surgery. These are unliveable symptoms and I'm thankful for having a good doctor who actually would like to perform the surgery and I trust her. If you live in San Diego area you should see her.
I had bilateral Eagle's syndrome. Just had the second styloid process removed. I am still recovering but I can say I am glad I had the surgery. It was done intraorally so the recovery is like that of tonsillectomy. I live in the New Haven, Ct area and was lucky enough to find an ENT familiar with this syndrome who has the courage to operate. NOT taking care of this can cause all sorts of serious problems. My bones were 3 inches and a little longer than 3 inches. One was growing into my mouth and could be felt under my tongue. The other was growing into my throat and was making it difficult to swallow.
Hi my name is Dena" My mother sister and i have Eagles syndrome. I did have my right styloid partialy dissected. They said it was longest one ever been dissected and it went down in the New England journel of Medicine. My surgeon is Dr. Charles Moore @ Emory Hospital in Atlanta. He performed a intro oral approach. I now need to do the right side. It is a very painful surgery. And it takes 2 months of healing drinking liquads only. Im glad i did the surgery But Cleavland clinic does the outside apprach. Which i wish i had done. Because they can remove more. Im now on permant dissabilty. I have good days and bad days. But at least i know its not in my head. Its a real disease!!!!! Also you need a 3D cat scan to identify the lenghts of the styloids" Best of luck to you all. I know living with this is TERRIABLE!
I have severe pain in my throat, neck,ear, mouth and teeth for the last 2 years. i've been for every test and x-rays possible, BUT according to all..... nothing wrong.... I am sure that I have 'Eagle syndrome", al my symtoms are the same, it is unbareable, I did some research and also find the same symtoms on "Temporal tendonitis". I'm from South-Africa does anyone knows a docter here who treads this??/
I had a car accident and had a CT of my neck and I was surprised by a Diagnosis of Eagle Syndrome....I get left ear pain, Pain runs along my clavicle to my shoulder. Pain with the turning of my head. And YES I have had this popping sensation upon Swallowing almost my whole life. A very unique , awkward sensation. I get ear pain too. Most of mine are in the left side.
I'm 78 and have had these severe coughing episodes till I feel I am blacking out or I have an emesis. I have had tinnitus for years and years, lately my first episode of ocular migraine. My jaw and face feel as if I had severe case of mumps.
Swallowing is really sometimes a problem and attempting to move my tongue with eating is excruciating. Even with attempting to swallow saliva can make me cough and choke because my swallowing is so bad. With my latest episode I could not even drink through a straw as the pulling was so painful.
Had a panoramic xray at the dentist.and she says the elongation is visible on the xray, and it is significantly prominent.
See an ENT tomorrow, wish me luck.
Socalt, when you noticed this bone protruding more on one side than the other, did it feel like a bump on the roof of your mouth back in the direction towards your tonsils? I have 2 noticeable bumps in that region on the upper side, but the affected side's bump is noticeably larger feeling.
Can you describe where the protruding bone was in detail?
Having left styloid (Eagle's) removed 9/13/2013 @ UPMC Presby-Pittsburgh, PA. ENT. Surgeon. Discomfort in neck/throat, swallowing difficulties, etc...Dentist identified Eagle's 3 years ago. Took all this time to find ENT to remove styloid.
Hi everyone, just some thoughts, I have Hashimoto's (hypothyroidism), had my tonsils removed when I was 38 due to bacteria picked up when I moved to another state. However, when I had the tonsils removed it set off a chain of events. My body went into overdrive when the tonsils were removed and that is how I came to get the Eagle's Syndrome. I had styloidectomy bilaterally 2 yrs ago. Today I am having problems once again. I am waiting to hear from my Dr. at UTSW in Dallas. Don't know for sure, but this may also be the reason I also have Dystonia.....? Can anyone else connect the dots on your situations?
I had styloidectomy surgery in 1994 on the left side, and another in 1998 for the right side. Both were elongated, and the symptoms presented were different in each case. The elongation on the right side was not present at the time of the 1994 surgery; it apparently grew in the following years until facial pain brought me to surgery. Both doctors were in Santa Monica, CA. I am not sure about the first surgeon's availability, and I would not recommend the 2nd surgeon due to bedside manner. However, surgery in both cases relieved the symptoms immediately for at least a decade.
I am looking for yet another in Southern California if you know of one, as I am experiencing pain on the left once again. Anyone have any recommendations? I will also share my experience. Each surgery was not a complete removal but a 'reach in as far as the instrument would go and snap off the end' type of surgery, through the mouth, so at least half of the elongated styloid hyoid complex was remaining after each surgery. there is much we need to share with each other. I am disheartened to hear from this chat room that the medical community knows very little more than they did in the 1990's.
I just had the surgery June 2nd. I have elongated styloids on both sides. He did a partial removal on the longest one. I cant understand yet what has happened but all symptoms have gotten worse. Dizzyness, tinnitus and a migraine that has lasted 7 days now. Something is definitely wrong and I called the surgeon and he said he is baffled.
Definitely locate a doctor who will do surgery. It completely gave me my life back! My doctor went in from the tonsil point. I have read about surgery from they outside, but mine went inside. It was absolutely amazing. If you check out a site called livingwitheagle.org, they have been creating a list of doctors who have helped them. Find one and go!!!! It will save your life.
Hi, this is a long shot since this post was 6 years ago, but my wife has long suffered with face and throat pain for years and has had a difficult time finding a doctor in Canada that will do the surgery.We live in Victoria, BC. also. Can you give me the name of the Victoria ENT you saw that did the surgery.
I have been having pains in my throat for awhile now,it hurts more if Italk,some times it feells like some one strangeling me a I also get pain,sometimes when I turn my head or neck,went to ENT,he did ct scan,said it was eagle syndrome? what can I do for it and should I go to different kind doctor? I'm 46 and overweight,have throaid problems,high blood problems,very hyper,tired a lot and work 40 hrs,most of time on my feet.drive about 40 miles each way to work,no kids and no pets,no friends,husband very keep to our self type people,was not raised that way,but conformed to his ways,he is 61,very French,me mixed nationality?
I have found 3 places that specilize in Eage Syndrome - UAMS - Little Rock, UT of Dallas, and John Hopkins - do not go to an ENT to have surgery go to one of these specialist - I am sure there is others but I did extensive research and so did my local doctors - my husband is scheduled on September 16 at UAMS - I will keep you informed.
My husband has been diagnosed with Eagle Syndrome - we have an appt with UAMS in LIttle Rock - who did you see at John Hopkins I am overnighting my paperwork for him there today - I have read great things about them for this disease. I am so glad to hear you are doing well. If you get a chance please send your doctors name and keep me updated. Prayers. My email is ***@****
My husband has Eagle Syndrome and we are looking at different hospital surgeons now - can you send me the name of yours. We go to UAMS next week then John Hopkins. Trying to get the best surgeon we can.
My email is ***@****
I'm thrilled to hear UAMS specializes in Eagle's! I'm in Fayetteville, and didn't know there were any good specialists in the state. Can you tell me what doctor your husband is seeing, and what department/clinic? Thanks!
Hi, I am a 48 years old female. My doctor recently found out that I am suffering from Eagle syndrome. before my doctor was thinking It's a 'Trigeminal Neuralgia'. I've sharp shooting pain comes to my lower right jaw. my neurologist were treating me with the medicine name ' carbamazepine' and I am still taking it. when the pain is severe doctor give me 'morphin' with saline. I haven't have any medicine given for 'Eagle Syndrome'. Doctor also told me 'Trigeminal nerolgia doctor mix up with 'Eagle syndrom'. I've seen an specialist for 'Eagle syndrome' and he told me i don't have to go for surgery yet. The pain that i go through is horrible. Please share what's happening and how doctor treating you with me/ us. thanks
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