Trigeminal neuralgia is a sudden, sharp pain on one side of the face. The pain commonly starts near one side of the mouth, then shoots toward the ear, eye, or nostril on the same side of the face.
The pain may start with a touch, movement, air drafts, eating, or for no known reason. Symptom-free periods, called remissions, may last several months or longer. For some people, the episodes of pain become more frequent, remissions become shorter and less common, and a dull ache may remain between the episodes of stabbing pain.
Treatment with medicine is usually helpful. Surgery may be helpful if a structural problem (such as a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve) is the cause.
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine
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