Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also known as tic douloureux, is sometimes considered the most painful agony known to humans. The discomfort mainly concerns the lower face and jaw, however, sometimes it affects the area surrounding the nose and above the eye.
This acute, stabbing, electric shock-like pain is caused by stimulation of the trigeminal nerve, which sends branches to the forehead, cheek, and lower jaw. It normally is restricted to one side of the face.
The discomfort might be triggered by actions as normal and small as brushing your teeth, eating, or the breeze. Attacks may begin mild and short, but if left untreated, trigeminal neuralgia can steadily deteriorate.
Trigeminal neuralgia can have the following early signs:
- Sense of tingling or numbness.
- Pain that comes in short bursts.
- Constant discomfort.
- Stabbing or electrical-like discomfort that lasts for a few seconds at a time.
- Simple tasks like chewing or talking might lead to sudden, unexpected outbursts.
- Stinging pain on one side of my face.
What are the conditions that can cause trigeminal neuralgia?
Primary or secondary, trigeminal neuralgia can be present. There must be an underlying cause for the pain if it’s secondary. Alternatively, this could be referred to as,
- Surgery in the past
- Facial injury
- Multiple sclerosis (MS), or another condition that affects the protective sheath around nerves, can cause them to become weak.
How is the condition triggered?
It’s mostly simple things that require you to move or touch your face that can cause pain, like:
- To make any kind of contact with your face (shaving, putting on makeup, washing your face).
- As we are eating and drinking,
- Your teeth should be brushed and flossed, as well as sprayed with mouthwash.
- The two of them are laughing and talking at the same time.
- Applying any kind of force or impact to your face, especially to your cheek or jawline.
- Wind or a breeze blows in your face when it’s strong.
Confirming tests for trigeminal neuralgia:
Your facial pain doctor will mostly judge whether you have trigeminal neuralgia based on how you describe the pain, such as:
Type: Pain from trigeminal neuralgia comes on quickly, shocks you, and lasts for a short time.
Location: The parts of your face that hurt will tell your doctor if the trigeminal nerve is in trouble.
Triggers: Trigeminal neuralgia-related pain usually comes on when you eat, talk, touch your face, or even feel a cool breeze.
Your doctor may run a lot of tests to figure out what’s causing your trigeminal neuralgia and what involves treating burning sensations on the face.
This variety of tests includes:
It can help your doctor figure out where the pain is coming from and if you have trigeminal neuralgia, which branches of the trigeminal nerve may be affected. If you’re experiencing symptoms, your doctor may be able to determine whether they are caused by a nerve being crushed. Other methods include performing reflex tests.
To find out if you have multiple sclerosis or a tumor, your doctor might order an ultrasound scan of your head. Sometimes, your doctor will inject a dye into a blood vessel so that he or she can see the arteries and veins and show where the blood is coming from.
Trigeminal neuralgia can be treated in a variety of ways.
Facial nerve pain treatment usually starts with medicines, and some people don’t need any more help. People with the condition may stop taking their medications, or they may have unpleasant side effects. However, this can happen over time. If you have trigeminal neuralgia, you can also try injections or surgery to treat it.
If your condition is caused by something else, such as multiple sclerosis, your doctor will treat that.
This surgery moves or removes blood vessels that are near the trigeminal root to stop the nerve from working. You and your physician create a small incision behind your ear on the side that is causing you discomfort, respectively. They make a small cut in your skull and move any arteries that touch the trigeminal nerve away from it. They also put a soft cushion between the nerve and arteries to protect it.
The trigeminal nerve is targeted with radiation to reduce or eliminate the patient’s discomfort. It can take up to a month for the pain to subside, but it will eventually.
For the majority of patients, brain stereotactic radiosurgery is an effective method of pain relief. As with any surgery, there is a chance that it will happen again in the next 3 to 5 years. There are a few options if the discomfort returns: either repeat the operation or use a different treatment altogether. You can reach out to the pain specialist in Coimbatore to get rid of the pain immediately.
This is called “balloon compression.” It’s done by inserting a hollow needle into the base of your skull and guiding it to the trigeminal nerve, where the balloon is. A thin, flexible tube with a balloon attached to one end is threaded through the needle once it’s in place. This tube is called a catheter. Your doctor blows up the balloon with enough pressure to damage the trigeminal nerve and stop pain signals from getting to your brain.
Balloon compression works well for most people, at least for a short time. Facial numbness is a common effect of this trigeminal neuralgia surgery.
Radiofrequency thermal lesioning:
Only the pain-causing nerve fibers are destroyed during this operation. To access the trigeminal nerve, a hollow needle is inserted into your face while you are sedated and redirected to the base of your skull. This part of your brain sends signals to your face.
After radiofrequency thermal lesioning, it is usual for patients to experience some temporary face numbness. Within the next three to four years, the pain may return. Consult the Best Hospital In Coimbatore to undergo Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment In Coimbatore.
How long does the pain last in trigeminal neuralgia?
When you have trigeminal neuralgia, you’ll have a lot of pain in your face for short periods. These pains can last from a few seconds to about two minutes. People often say that the pain is like getting an electric shock.
Patients should see their primary care providers and specialists often to keep their treatment going. Most people who have neuromodulation surgery have to come back to the clinic every few months for the first year after the surgery.
During these visits, they may change the stimulation settings and check on how the patient is doing after surgery. Routinely going to see a doctor makes sure that the care is correct and that it works.