EAGLE Syndrome

What is Eagle Syndrome?

Eagle’s syndrome or carotid artery or styloid syndrome is a disorder of the ligaments that attach the skull to the hyoid bone in the neck. It is a rare pathology involving Otolaryngology.

What symptoms does Eagle’s syndrome cause?

Patients affected by Eagle’s Syndrome present a variable number of painful sensations in the throat, which they define as intense prickling of varied route and location. They may also present ear pain, a ‘stuffy’ sensation, excessive saliva production, difficulty in swallowing or speaking, limitation of neck movements, noise in the temporomandibular joint, sensation of a foreign body in the back of the mouth that forces frequent swallowing, vertigo or even temporary loss of consciousness.

Causes of Eagle’s syndrome

There is a bone at the level of the ear called styloid process. It is located 5 cm deep and connects the skull with the neck by means of the stylohyoid ligament, which, when calcified, causes Eagle’s syndrome. The calcification or fibrosis of the ligament usually occurs in middle-aged adults, although it can also affect young people, with a higher incidence in women than in men.

Prevention of Eagle’s Syndrome

It is not possible to prevent the calcification of a ligament, so the prevention of this disease is very difficult. In case of symptoms similar to those described, the otolaryngologist should perform specific X-rays and a CT scan.

Treatment of Eagle’s syndrome

The treatment for Eagle’s syndrome will vary depending on the symptoms. In mild to medium cases, pharmacological treatment, including corticosteroid injections, will be performed. In more severe cases, reduction of the styloid process may be performed.