Trigeminal Neuralgia

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Facial pain has a number of causes. Dr. Edward Hill discusses one cause for facial pain, trigeminal neuralgia, in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Trigeminal neuralgia, or TN, is named for the nerve that is affected. Trigeminal neuralgia causes brief, intense, severe pain, usually on one side of the face or the jaw or near the eye.

Trigeminal neuralgia is more common in people older than 50 years and tends to affect women more than men.

Pain is sharp and can last a few seconds to several minutes. It often feels like an electric shock or stabbing but may feel like burning.

Pain may be triggered by simple actions such as chewing, brushing the teeth, puffs of air or wind on the face or touching the face.

Episodes can come and go, sometimes with a long time between episodes. The longer a person has TN, the shorter the remission periods. Some individuals have nearly constant episodes.

Although TN is not curable, it can usually be managed like any chronic medical condition. It is not fatal. Antidepressant medications and antiseizure medications are often prescribed for persons with TN.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.