Common Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Overview

Trigeminal neuralgia is a severe and painful condition in which the trigeminal nerve is affected. The trigeminal nerve is the nerve that helps you feel your face, it carries a sense of touch from your face to your brain. A person with this condition would feel very excruciating pain at that slightest touch or stimulation on their face. Even from just brushing the teeth or applying makeup. This condition is also known as tic douloureux [1] and it means that there’s been a disruption in the function of the trigeminal nerve. Contact between a normal blood vessel such as a vein or an artery and the trigeminal nerve that is located at the bottom of the brain applies pressure on the nerve and this results in its malfunctioning.

The attacks may start as mild short pain but can progress and develop into frequent and longer bouts of excruciating pain. Trigeminal neuralgia usually affects women more than it affects men [2] and is more likely to happen to people who are above the age of 50. Therefore, aging is a cause of TN. Other causes include multiple sclerosis [3] or a tumor affecting the trigeminal nerve. Some experience TN because of a brain lesion [4] or other similar abnormalities. In some cases, a stroke, injuries from surgery, or facial trauma can be responsible for trigeminal neuralgia.