Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a chronic neuropathic pain condition that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve, one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head and face. A blood vessel or a tumor pushes on the trigeminal nerve at the base of the brain and makes it misfire. Or multiple sclerosis could damage the nerve’s protective covering (myelin sheath). You might have burning or shock-like facial pain, sometimes extreme. A typical “attack” lasts up to 2 minutes and affects the lower face and sometimes the nose and eye. Pain can also be ongoing.
Treatment options include pain medicines, surgery and complementary approaches. Severe cases are managed by consultation with Neurosurgeons and Oral Surgeons.
Fast facts on trigeminal neuralgia
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