What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Woman touching face and grimacing from pain

If you’ve ever experienced a moment of excruciating pain while brushing your teeth, applying make-up, or performing some other mildly stimulating act involving your face, you may be experiencing Trigeminal Neuralgia. The severity of this condition can increase over time, with these pain sensations happening more often and lasting longer. Thankfully, treatment options exist that can effectively manage this condition.

What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia

The trigeminal nerve is responsible for transmitting sensation experiences from your face to your brain. Trigeminal Neuralgia is a condition affecting the trigeminal nerve, often involving a nerve lesion or nerve injury. This condition has the reputation of being one of the most severely painful conditions known to medical science. Any sensation can be responsible for triggering a pain episode. These episodes can last for an instant, or for days to months at a time. When they fade its possible for them to disappear for long stretches of time, even years. The root cause of this condition is often direct contact between a blood vessel and a nerve near the brain’s base. This can result in pressure being applied to the nerve, causing a malfunction.

What Are The Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia?

The immediate symptom of TN is searing jolts of pain typically lasting a few seconds to a few minutes. When they occur these symptoms are triggered by things as simple as talking, applying makeup, brushing teeth, or even simply feeling the wind on your skin. These painful experiences can be a single jolt and then disappear, or they can keep coming in volleys over a period of hours, days, or months. Many patients indicate that in the days before an attack they’ll begin experiencing numbness, or an aching pain that is generally constant. As time goes by these attacks worsen, and the painful episodes will begin occurring closer together.

What Can Be Done To Treat Trigeminal Neuralgia?

The first line of defense against this condition is medication. Those treated with medication often don’t require any other form of treatment, though it’s not unheard of for patients to stop responding to them. When ingested medication ceases to be effective, the next step will often be injections to ease the pain, followed by surgical options. The purpose of the surgical treatment is to cause the blood vessel to stop putting pressure on the trigeminal nerve root. This is accomplished through the placement of a soft cushion between the nerve and the blood vessel.

If you’ve been experiencing painful episodes like those described above, it’s time to reach out to Dr. Todd Bromberg at the Delaware Valley Pain & Spine Institute. Our facility is a proud servant of the Chalfont, PA community, providing excellence in nerve and spinal care to everyone who comes through our door. Trigeminal Neuralgia is a condition that will get worse with time, especially if left untreated. Find relief from your attacks by seeking help from the neurological and spinal experts at our facility. We look forward to serving you at our Chalfont, PA location.

Dr. Todd A. Bromberg, M.D. When chronic pain and spinal issues impact your quality of life, you need a team of crack spine and pain specialists at your disposal. Delaware Valley Pain & Spine Institute works with some of the most respected experts in the field to bring pain relief and restored quality of life to patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey!
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