What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
This is a condition that
causes severe facial pain due to irritation of one of the
nerves in the face. It usually affects women more than men,
and almost always affects people over 40. The disease can
usually be treated with medicines.
The typical symptom of trigeminal neuralgia
is excruciatingly severe pain that begins suddenly on one
side of the face. It usually begins at the mouth and then
shoots up toward the eye, ear, or nose on the same side of
the face. It is very unusual for the pain to be on both sides
of the face.
The pain comes and goes, usually lasting a few seconds
to a few minutes. As the disease progresses, the painful episodes
often become more frequent and severe.
The patient may be pain free for a few minutes or longer.
However, some develop a continuous dull ache that never goes
Touch, chewing, wind drafts, or facial movements can trigger
painful episodes. In some, there are specific sites on their
face that if touched, result in severe pain.
Trigeminal neuralgia is due to irritation of the trigeminal
nerve, which is one of the nerves of the face.
Often, there is no apparent cause of this nerve irritation.
Occasionally, it can be due to diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis,
Brain Aneurysm, Brain Tumor, or narrowing of the tunnel through
which the trigeminal nerve passes from the brain to the face.