Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal nerve carries the sensation from face to the brain. The chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve is called trigeminal neuralgia. If you are a patient of trigeminal neuralgia, mild stimulation of the face may give you severe pain.

During the initial stage, the patient might experience short, mild attacks. As the disease progress, it will cause longer and more frequent sessions of burning pain. Women are more likely to get affected by trigeminal neuralgia. People who are at the age of more than 50 years are at high risk to get it. Trigeminal neuralgia can be effectively treated with the advanced treatments available in the present society.

Trigeminal-neuralgiaThe symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia may include:

  • Episodes of severe pain, that may feel like an electric shock
  • Occasional twinges of mild pain
  • Pain focused in one spot or spread in a wider pattern
  • Attacks becoming more frequent and intensive over time
  • Pain that affect one side of the face at a time
  • Episodes of several attacks lasting days, weeks, months or longer.
  • Sessions of pain lasting from a few seconds to several seconds
  • Spontaneous attacks of pain or attacks triggered by things such as touching the face, chewing, speaking, and brushing the teeth
  • Attacks becoming more frequent and intense over time.

If you experience a prolonged or recurring pain, which cannot be relieved by the over-the-counter pain relievers, you should seek immediate care.

Trigeminal neuralgia may affect you as a result of aging. It can be linked to multiple sclerosis or a similar disorder that damages the myelin sheath protecting certain nerves. It can also be caused by a tumor compressing the trigeminal nerve. Some may even experience trigeminal neuralgia due to a brain lesion or other abnormalities.

The doctor will diagnose trigeminal neuralgia mainly based on the following things:

  • It’s type
  • Location and
  • Triggers

The doctor will also use certain tests to diagnose the issue. These may include a neurological examination and MRI Scan. It is important to have a complete diagnosis. Otherwise, you might get confused with the symptoms of some other disease as trigeminal neuralgia.

The treatments start with medication. In most of the cases, medication is enough for relieving trigeminal neuralgia. Commonly prescribed medications may include:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antispasmodic agents etc

They are used lessen or block the pain signals. You should not use them unless you get prescribed it by the doctor. Number of surgeries and other procedures are also used for treating trigeminal neuralgia.

Surgical options and other such procedures may include:

  • Micro vascular decompression
  • Gama Knife radiosurgery
  • Glycerol injection
  • Balloon compressions
  • Radiofrequency thermal lesioning etc