Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, causing extreme pain in the face from even mild stimulation.
Trigeminal neuralgia is regarded as one of the most painful conditions any patient can suffer and is commonly referred to as the “Suicide Disease”. The condition is characterized by extreme and excruciating facial pain that can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. This pain is usually intermittent and is triggered by minimal stimulation of the face. The Trigeminal nerve (also called the fifth cranial nerve or CN5), conducts sensation in the face.
The term “Suicide Disease” is derived from the overwhelming anxiety and depression experienced by many patients with Trigeminal Neuralgia. Those plagued by this condition often live in fear of daily activities that may bring on bouts of pain, including eating, shaving, talking and sleep. Those with the condition often become reclusive. Malnutrition is also common in those with Trigeminal Neuralgia as eating often triggers painful episodes.
The condition has no defined cause, but several theories exist. Surgery which protects the nerve from blood vessels with a small piece of gauze is generally effective in providing relief.
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With trigeminal neuralgia, you’re likely experiencing a significant amount of pain. You may have trigeminal neuralgia if your experience symptoms such as:
- Intermittent bursts of extreme lightning-like, stabbing facial pain
- Onset of pain while eating, shaving, talking or brushing teeth
- Dull aching between bouts of extreme pain
- Pain triggered by light touch or wind
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The information provided here is not intended for you to self-diagnose. It is our way of letting you know that we understand how to help you. The first step to your relief is to schedule a consultation so we can determine what your underlying condition is and help you to understand your options.
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