Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is also known as tic douloureux. It has an effect on the trigeminal (fifth cranial) nerve, which supplies sensation to one side of the face. This situation tends to appear in adults in later years, and happen in episodes which becomes more frequent and more severe with time. There are fairly often intervals with no pain.

Patients typically explain severe, sharp pain that can be like an electric shock and most often affects the lower or upper jaw, and occasionally the forehead. It can be precipitated by touching these areas, chewing or talking.

In most cases, the reason is a loop of artery lying in contact with the trigeminal nerve, just as it approaches the brain stem. Less often it is a small vein. In a few percents of cases, the reason is a tumor usually benign, which is why all patients should have an MRI scan. If the tumor is found, surgery is often advised.

What cause trigeminal neuralgia?

Most often, the reason of trigeminal neuralgia is idiopathic, meaning the cause is not known. There are some instances when the nerve can be compressed by nearby blood vessels, aneurysms, or tumors.

There are inflammatory reason of trigeminal neuralgia because of systemic diseases including multiple sclerosis, sarcoidosis, and Lyme disease. There also is an association with collagen vascular illness including scleroderma and systemic lupus erythematosus.

What are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia?

Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia contain an acute onset of sharp, stabbing pain to one side of the face. It tends to begin at the angle of the jaw and radiate along the junction lines; between the ophthalmic branchV1 and maxillary branch V2, or the maxillary branch V2 and the mandibular branch V3.

The pain is severe and describe as an electric shock. It may be made worse by light touch, chewing, or cold exposure in the mouth. In the midst of an attack, affected individuals shield their face trying to protect it from being touched. This is an significant diagnostic sign because with many other pain syndromes like a toothache, the person will rub or hold the face to ease the pain