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What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal Neuralgia is a sudden severe chronic pain condition, which is caused by the trigeminal or the 5th cranial nerve, which carries sensation from the face to our brain. The affected person may experience a jolt of excruciating pain or electric shock even from mild stimulation or activities like brushing, smiling or applying makeup.

What causes Trigeminal Neuralgia

In Trigeminal Neuralgia, the function of the trigeminal nerve is disrupted. The main reason for the nerve to malfunction is the contact between the blood vessels, the vein and the trigeminal nerve, which puts pressure on the nerve. It can also occur as a result of aging.

Which actions can trigger Trigeminal Neuralgia?

The actions include, drinking, eating, brushing, talking, shaving, smiling and washing the face.

What are the variants of Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal Neuralgia is split into different categories depending on the type of pain. The variants are as follows:

  • Type 1 (TN1): It is the most common form of this condition in which the affected person may experience pain similar to stabbing or piercing. In TN1 the pain occurs occasionally and is not constant. In this variant the exact cause can be easily identified.
  • Type2 (TN2): In TN2 the pain occurs more often and involves throbbing, aching or even burning sensations.
  • Symptomatic: It is a pain which occurs due to multiple sclerosis.
What are the signs and symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia?

The symptoms include:

  • Twinges of mild pain occasionally
  • Pain lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes
  • Episodes of pain which may feel very much like an electric shock
  • Attacks of pain or attacks triggered due to touching the face, speaking or even brushing
  • Pain in the cheek, teeth, gums, lips or less often near the eye and forehead
  • Pain affecting only one side of the face
  • Attacks are more frequent and intense over time
  • Difficulty in talking or eating
Who should be consulted for Trigeminal Neuralgia?

One should consult a Neurologist for Trigeminal Neuralgia.

Is Trigeminal Neuralgia curable?

Yes, with medications it is curable and no additional treatment is required. But in some extreme cases, the affected person experiences side effects or may even stop responding to medications.

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