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Trigeminal Neuralgia


Trigeminal Neuralgia is a type of pain in the face area. It does not cause a loss of strength as in facial paralysis and occurs on one side of the face. The patient feels severe pain and numbness in the regions that correspond to the branches of the trigeminal nerve extending to the face. The incidence rate per year is 10 per 100,000 people in the population. ​Trigeminal neuralgia affects more women than men and usually begins between the ages of 50 and 60. It is rare in adults younger than 40 years.

Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms

Trigeminal neuralgia is a sudden, severe facial pain. It is usually a sharp pain. It is defined as an electric shock in the jaw, teeth, gums.

It usually comes with short, unpredictable attacks that can last from a few seconds to about 2 minutes. Attacks stop abruptly as they started. 

In most cases, trigeminal neuralgia affects only one side of the face, and the pain is usually felt in the lower part of the face. Very rarely, pain can affect both sides of the face, although not usually simultaneously.

Patients with this condition may experience regular episodes of pain for days, weeks, or months at a time. In severe cases, attacks can occur hundreds of times a day.

Although these periods tend to shorten over time, the pain may sometimes subside or disappear completely over the course of several months or years. Some patients may develop a continuous pain, throbbing or burning sensation accompanied by severe attacks later on.

Living with trigeminal neuralgia can be very difficult. It significantly affects the quality of life. It can cause problems such as weight loss,  depression, suicidal ideation  .

What Causes Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia is usually caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve. trigeminal nerve; It is a nerve in the skull that transmits pain and touch sensations from the face, teeth and mouth area to our brain.

Compression of the trigeminal nerve is usually caused by a nearby blood vessel pressing on part of the nerve inside the skull.

trigeminal neuralgia; It can also occur when the trigeminal nerve is damaged by another medical condition, such as multiple sclerosis (MS)  or a brain tumor .

Pain attacks; it usually occurs with activities that involve lightly touching the face, such as washing, eating, and brushing the teeth, but can also be triggered by wind (even a gentle breeze or air conditioning) or facial movements. 

Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disease that usually causes long-term complaints, and recovery periods are usually shortened over time. However, available treatments often help to some degree.

often used to treat epilepsy  cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_carbamazepine  the first recommended drug to treat nephropathy is a triconvulsant usually recommended to treat the nephropathy, an anticonvulsant is the first to treat a triconvulsant. Carbamazepine can relieve nerve pain by slowing electrical impulses in nerves and reducing their ability to transmit pain messages.

Medication is usually continued unless the pain subsides or disappears, which may take many years.

If this medication doesn't help you, causes too many side effects, or if you can't take it, you can go to a neurosurgeon to discuss alternative medications or surgical treatments that may help.

There are several surgical techniques that can be used to treat trigeminal neuralgia. The first of these is to interrupt the pain signals originating from the nerves to the brain. The sensory nerve can be desensitized with radiofrequency or alcohol, but these treatments are usually only effective for a few years.

Alternatively, contact with the brain vessels compressing the trigeminal nerve is prevented by surgery. Studies show that this surgery offers the best results in long-term pain relief. But this is a major surgery after all. Hearing loss   may carry a risk of potentially serious complications such as facial numbness or very rarely  paralysis  

Dr. Tamer Tekin

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