What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia – also referred to as TN or TGN – is a chronic condition that causes extreme facial pain. With unpredictable attacks followed by increasingly brief periods of remission, trigeminal neuralgia is acknowledged by many in the medical field as the most painful condition in existence. Fortunately, there are advanced treatment options that can help.
Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia
Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include sudden, severe, electric shock-like spasms or stabbing pain on one side of the face that last several seconds.
Pain is often around the eye, cheek or lower part of the face and can be triggered by everyday occurrences such as laughing, drinking, chewing, brushing teeth, talking or facial touching. In some cases, patients first assume their condition is caused by nerves
associated with the teeth, and seek help from a dentist, though the
pain can be also be reported in the ear, eye and even the nose. If left untreated, the disease tends to worsen over time.
Diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuralgia
There is no one test or scan that diagnoses trigeminal neuralgia. A cluster of symptoms identifies the condition. In rare cases, a tumor can cause trigeminal pain which is diagnosed through an imaging procedure like CT or MRI.
Dr. Dong Kim, Director of the Mischer Neuroscience Institute, recorded an in-depth online presentation about diagnosis and treatment options for trigeminal neuralgia. This video is recommended for patients and caregivers affected by trigeminal neuralgia. View the 50-minute presentation above.
Twenty-five-year-old Christine Smid was in good health until 2007, when she noticed a sharp pain in her face that began just below the eyelid and extended down to her upper teeth and lip.
Watch Her Story »