Causes And Treatment Of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia, which is also called tic douloureux, is a painful disorder of the trigeminal nerve, a sensory nerve of the face. The condition usually occurs in older people but can happen at any age. Possible causes are pressure on the nerve from a tumor or swollen blood vessel or as a side effect of multiple sclerosis. Many times the cause is undetermined.

The pain with trigeminal neuralgia is usually only on one side of the face and can be excruciating. Almost anything can trigger the pain, including light touch, sounds, chewing or shaving.

Treatment options are medications and surgery. Medications such as anti-seizure drugs, anti-depressants and muscle relaxants can reduce pain and frequency of attacks. If there is pressure on the nerve, surgery may be indicated.

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