Monday, May 22, 2017

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

A sharp pain explodes through your face and jaw. You think that perhaps an invisible bolt of lightning just struck without any warning. You’re not sure what happened, but you do know that you don’t want it ever to happen again. You may have experienced your first acute attack of trigeminal neuralgia.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also known as the tic douloureux, prosopalgia, the “suicide disease,” and Fothergill’s disease, is a facial pain disorder characterized by brief electric shock-like pains that can occur abruptly, typically on only one side of the face and along one or more of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve, which is the fifth cranial nerve, is responsible for sensation in the face and motor function controlling the jaw.

The stabbing pain of TN most often affects the right side of the face. Frequency of attacks can range from one per day to 12 or more per hour. Common triggers of TN include chewing, talking, or smiling; drinking cold or hot fluids; touching, shaving, brushing your teeth, or blowing your nose; or sudden contact with cold air.

An individual can often point out exactly where the pain of TN is felt. In the majority of cases, the pain shoots from the corner of the mouth to the back of the jaw. In fewer cases, the pain spreads from the upper lip or teeth up to and around the eye and eyebrow.

There are two patterns of pain in trigeminal neuralgia. The first pattern is episodic and affects more than 50 percent of patients. The second pattern features constant pain, the mechanisms and development of which are not well understood. In episodic cases, the intensity of the pain typically increases from simply being present to an excruciating pain felt deep in the face in less than 20 seconds. Muscle spasms may accompany the pain.

Read this post in its entirety:
MS Signs and Symptoms: What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

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