Pain that comes from the face may come as a result of an infection in some structure of the face, an injury, a nerve disorder, or in some cases it may occur for no apparent reason.
This is a shortlist of common causes of facial pain:
Inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis)AANSAbscessed tooth (a health condition in which some of the teeth are surrounded by pus and inflammation)Facial injuryTemporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ disordersTrigeminal neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia or TN is also known as tic douloureux. This is a condition that can be easily recognized because of the symptoms that come in the form of a sudden, shooting pain in the facial area.
This condition has an impact on the trigeminal nerve which is one of the biggest nerves in the head. This nerve delivers impulses of pain, touch, temperature, and pressure to the brain gathered from the face, gums, jaw, around the eyes, and forehead.
What Leads to Trigeminal Neuralgia?
One of the most common causes of trigeminal neuralgia is blood vessel pressure on the nerve close to the brain stem. Over some period of time, the transformation that takes place in the blood vessels located in the brain can lead to blood vessels rubbing against the root of the trigeminal nerve.
This continuous rubbing which happens with every heartbeat damages the insulating membrane around the nerve which leads to nerve irritation.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia leads to unexpected, acute, stabbing pain that goes away after several seconds. This pain can be noticed on the face and near the lips, nose, forehead, scalp, and eyes.
These symptoms are more noticeable when people are brushing their teeth, touching their face, using makeup, swallowing or even feeling chills.
Trigeminal neuralgia is considered to be one of the most painful health problems. This pain is typically experienced on one side of the cheek or jaw, but there are many people who felt this pain on both sides. This feeling of pain can happen several times a day and it can last for weeks or months.
There are situations when the pain is gone for years and suddenly reoccurs. This condition is more frequent in women and most of the sufferers are older than 50.
How Trigeminal Neuralgia is Diagnosed?
Those who want to check whether the pain they are feeling comes from multiple sclerosis or a tumor that leads to irritation of the trigeminal nerve must use magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. Other than that, there is no other technique that can precisely determine the existence of trigeminal neuralgia.
However, by using certain tests, you can eliminate some other causes that lead to facial disorders. Trigeminal neuralgia is usually diagnosed with the help of the patient’s description of the signs and symptoms.
How Is Trigeminal Neuralgia Treated and Cured?
Trigeminal neuralgia can be cured successfully with anti-seizure drugs like Neurotonin (gabapentin) or Tegretol (carbamazepine). In some cases, medications like Depakote (divalproex sodium) and Klonopin (clonazepam) can be quite helpful too.
They are often sued in combination with some other drugs in order to reduce pain. Certain antidepressant drugs can also soothe the pain.
In case these medications don’t provide any results or they come with certain dangerous side effects, people can try some neurosurgical treatments that can lead to nerve pressure relief and reduction of nerve sensitivity.
There are many patients who claim that this pain can be relieved by practicing alternative medical therapies like chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation.
Via Web MD | AANS