Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that causes severe and chronic pain in your face. The pain occurs because the trigeminal nerve, which runs between the face and brain, is not working properly. This malfunctioning can have a large affect on your life as the trigeminal nerve is responsible for relaying information from your face to your brain and controlling some facial movement. The pain is often described as stabbing, and it can be aggravated by daily tasks as simple as talking. It may last anywhere from a few seconds to well over a minute.
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Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
This disorder of the fifth cranial nerve can cause severe, sporadic jabbing or shock-like facial pain. The pain seldom lasts more than a few seconds or minutes per episode, but it can be physically and mentally incapacitating.
The pain typically erupts on one side of the face, usually in the forehead, cheek or jaw. Trigeminal neuralgia can surface at any age, but most often affects people over 50, and more women than men. People with multiple sclerosis have an increased risk of trigeminal neuralgia.
Some patients experience a tingling or numbing sensation or an aching pain in the days before an episode begins.
Vibration or contact, such as shaving, eating, drinking, brushing the teeth or talking can trigger an attack.
Some patients are sensitive in certain “trigger zones," usually areas near the nose, lips, eyes or ears that, when touched, can trigger an attack. Episodes can occur over days, weeks or months, then disappear for months or years.
Attacks often worsen over time, with fewer pain-free periods in between. There are several theories as to the origin of trigeminal neuralgia, but we don’t have a complete explanation of the cause of this difficult problem yet. Most physicians believe it is due to the effect of a blood vessel on the nerve, as the nerve exits the brain stem.
Baptist Health South Florida answeredTrigeminal neuralgia is pain along the trigeminal, or fifth cranial nerve. The trigeminal nerve, which is divided into three branches, is primarily responsible for sensation in the face but also has a role in motor functions, including chewing and swallowing.
Trigeminal neuralgia most frequently affects people over age 50 and more women than men. An estimated 15,000 to 25,000 cases are diagnosed every year in the United States. Many people are misdiagnosed repeatedly.
While the cause of the nerve damage is often not clear, it is thought to be due to compression of the nerve from blood vessels. People with multiple sclerosis have an increased risk of trigeminal neuralgia as well.
Trigeminal neuralgia (sometimes called tic douloureux) is a sudden, sharp pain on one side of the face. The pain commonly starts near one side of the mouth, then shoots toward the ear, eye, or nostril on the same side of the face.
The pain may start with a touch, movement, air drafts, eating, or for no known reason. Symptom-free periods, called remissions, may last several months or longer. As the condition gets worse, though, the episodes of pain become more frequent, remissions become shorter and less common, and a dull ache may remain between the episodes of stabbing pain.
Trigeminal neuralgia is most common in middle and late life. It affects women more often than men. When trigeminal neuralgia occurs in young people, it is often caused by multiple sclerosis.
Treatment with medicine is usually helpful. Surgery may be helpful if a structural problem (such as a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve) is the cause.
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Trigeminal neuralgia is an inflammatory condition involving the trigeminal nerve, which results in severe facial lancinating pain, usually referred to the jaw or the cheek on one side. It can occur spontaneously or can be brought on by talking, eating, brushing the teeth, or touching the face. The condition occurs more commonly in patients who are older than 50 years and in women. It may be mistaken for a dental disease and many patients undergo tooth extractions to root canals without any improvement before the correct diagnosis is made.
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation answeredTrigeminal neuralgia is pain caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve. It is characterized by a stabbing pain in the face that can result from almost any facial movement. It tends to be extremely painful and can interfere with activities of daily living. Trigeminal neuralgia is frequently an initial symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), and it is commonly confused with dental pain. Between 1.9% to 4.9% of MS patients experience it.