Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a type of chronic pain that affects your face. It causes extreme, sudden burning or shock-like pain. It usually affects one side of the face. Any vibration on your face, even from talking, can set it off. The condition may come and go, disappearing for days or even months. But the longer you have it, the less often it goes away.
TN usually affects people over 50, especially women. The cause is probably a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve, one of the largest nerves in the head. Tumors and multiple sclerosis can also cause TN, but in some cases the cause is unknown.
There is no single test to diagnose TN. It can be hard to diagnose, since many other conditions can cause facial pain. Treatment options include medicines, surgery, and complementary techniques.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Trigeminal Neuralgia (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: CT-Guided Percutaneous Radiofrequency Thermocoagulation for Recurrent Trigeminal Neuralgia After Microvascular...
- Article: PERCUTANEOUS BALLOON COMPRESSION OF GASSERIAN GANGLION FOR THE TREATMENT OF...
- Article: Neurovascular study of the trigeminal nerve at 3 t MRI.
- Trigeminal Neuralgia -- see more articles
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- Find a Neurologist (American Academy of Neurology)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Available in Spanish