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How is glossopharyngeal neuralgia diagnosed?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

The pain of glossopharyngeal neuralgia typically makes the condition easy to diagnose. If contact with the back of your throat causes pain, your doctor can test whether it is glossopharyngeal neuralgia by applying an anesthetic. If the anesthetic makes the pain go away, that is usually enough to make the diagnosis.

There are several other tests your doctor can use to identify the cause of your glossopharyngeal neuralgia as well. X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can all be used to look for complications like tumors. If an out of place artery is causing your glossopharyngeal neuralgia, doctors can sometimes confirm the problem using magnetic resonance angiography, which is an MRI of your arteries. Blood tests can also be used to rule out other possible causes of your pain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.