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Neuralgia / Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which is the nerve that carries sensation from the face to the brain. Trigeminal neuralgia is said to be one of the most excruciating pains known to humanity. Even doing something as simple as brushing your teeth or putting on makeup can trigger a jolt of pain.

What Causes Trigeminal Neuralgia?

There is evidence that the disorder runs in families, meaning that it is a result of inherited blood vessel formation. This condition is also more likely to occur in people over 50 and is typically more frequent in women than men. However, it is usually caused because the trigeminal nerve’s function has been disrupted. The issue is that the contact between a normal blood vessel and the trigeminal nerve at the base of the brain causes pressure to be put on the nerve and results in malfunction. Some people may also experience trigeminal neuralgia if they have multiple sclerosis, a tumor compressing the nerve, a brain lesion, surgical injuries, stroke, or facial trauma.

Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

The area most typically affected is the lower face and jaw, but sometimes it can spread to the nose and above the eye. Initially, you might experience short, mild attacks in your face, but with trigeminal neuralgia, it can progress and cause longer and more frequent attacks of searing pain.

Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia may include:

  • Spontaneous attacks of pain in the face caused by touching the face, chewing, speaking, or brushing teeth
  • Episodes of severe, jabbing, or shooting pain that feel like an electric shock
  • Episodes of several attacks lasting days, weeks, months, or longer
  • Stretches of pain lasting from a few seconds to several minutes
  • Pain in areas supplied by the trigeminal nerve (cheek, jaw, lips, gums, teeth, and sometimes the eyes and forehead)
  • Constant aching, burning feeling

Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment

Although trigeminal neuralgia in some cases cannot be cured, there are many treatments and medications that Clearway offers to alleviate the pain. Typically, the treatment starts with medication, and sometimes people do not need any further treatment. Some people may stop responding to the medication over time and need to go a step further with injections or even surgery. If the condition is due to an underlying cause, your physician will treat that source.

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