Trigeminal Neuralgia: Causes of disabling facial pain

We are faced with a neurological disease, characterized by a whiplash-like pain in the face, which has earned definition being considered the most excruciating pain. The pain caused by inflammation or irritation of the nerve, can last from a few seconds or minutes, long enough to turn trigeminal neuralgia whose outbreaks can recur for days or weeks, a disabling disease. A disease with a certain female face, because it is more frequent among women.

trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia. Behind this name hides one of the diseases, with pain as a symptom that accompanies most characteristic, most disabling and difficult to combat. The pain manifests as shaped lashes on one side of the face. Severe pain that can last a few seconds or minutes, but it can become so intense that patients themselves have dubbed this condition as one of the most excruciating pains. Women are more vulnerable to suffer, especially from the 50.

Trigeminal neuralgia occurs in outbreaks or crises, which can last for days or weeks. According to medical data, it is estimated that around 20% of patients will have a second episode throughout his life and 24% up to three.

What triggers the attacks? Something as simple as brushing our teeth or coughing can cause its appearance. Although in some cases there is no known cause, the understanding of nerve tends to be one of the answers, as well as other types of grips nerve caused by a cyst or benign tumor. The multiple sclerosis and cerebral infarction can also trigger its appearances.


It is not always easy to diagnose. For several reasons. On one hand, because its main symptoms may overlap to migraine or dental problem and, on the other hand, because neither has a specific test for diagnosis, which must be confirmed with physical examination, patient history, family history, description of symptoms, corneal sensitivity, duration of pain, among others.


Patients diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia do not respond to painkillers, so you need a more powerful pharmacological treatment for pain and alleviate the severity of the crisis. The drugs include the tegretol and carbamazepine, an antiepileptic drug whose effectiveness have found different studies, but the fact is that it is free of side effects which may necessitate the discontinuation of treatment (dizziness, nausea, allergic skin reactions, and headaches).

If the patient does not respond to drug treatments, there is the option of surgery (microvascular decompression and ablative therapies among the available treatments).

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