About Tolosa Hunt Syndrome Treatment, Diagnosis And More

What is Tolosa Hunt Syndrome

Tolosa Hunt syndrome is a rare type of disorder. It is estimated that in every one million people, only one of them is affected at least once a year. Both males and females usually aged above 20 years are affected. The international headache society first classified it in the year 2004.

Usually, it is characterized by headaches which are severe, unilateral and with ectraocular palsies. When one is suffering from this condition, their cavernous sinus located at the back of the eye becomes inflamed. This inflammation is what causes the severe eye pain / irritation or even the destruction of the facial nerves.

Although the exact causes of the disorder have not been identified, it has always been associated with the inflammation of the cavernous sinus and other areas behind or at the back of the eyes.

Tolosa Hunt Syndrome Symptoms

The symptoms of this disorder are always limited to one side of the head. There is always a sharp and severe pain around the eye of the affected side and this will be followed by the paralysis of that eye’s muscles. This will in turn lead to the drooping of the upper eyelid a condition known as ptosis. One may also experience fever, fatigue, double/ blurred vision and also sensitivity to light. These symptoms may go down even without any medication but will recur unpredictably after some time. If one goes without any treatment, it may finally result in blindness.


For it to be diagnosed, one needs to go through quite a number of laboratory tests. This is because many other conditions can cause symptoms similar to those of the disorder. These include blood count tests, serum protein tests and thyroid function tests. Magnetic resonance imaging & angiography, and computed tomography scan of the brain & orbit are done so as to rule out any other causes. Sinus inflammation if seen generally during the tests will indicate the presence of Tolosa Hunt syndrome.

Tolosa Hunt Syndrome Treatment

Luckily, this disorder is not fatal and thus can be treated with medication. Such includes; prednisone that can provide pain relief (24-72 hours) after the administration of the drug. The paresis and pain is also relived if treated adequately with corticosteroids. The vision problems may take some time though to disappear or may never disappear completely. If ones’ body react to the medication, it is always advisable to report immediately to the doctor.


Oral steroids treatment if well administered within 3 – 4 months can be very effective. Since there could have been other enlisted symptoms, it is advisable for the patient to also co manage with a neurology service. A rare complication cans occur in regeneration of the nerves.


Any time you experience any change or any thing unusual in not only your eyes but also in the other parts of your body; always make sure that you see a physician. He / she will examine you and thus ensuring that everything is ok. If otherwise, early treatment is administered. As a result you will avoid ending up in a situation that can not be reversed. All the best in your journey to a healthy living.

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