So what is Trigeminal Neuralgia? It is not what most people would have heard of or witness. But it is considered one of the most painful conditions one can suffer from.
Trigeminal Neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that causes extreme, sporadic, spasm or electric like face pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as 2 minutes per episode.
Episodes can last for days, weeks, or months at a time and then disappear for months or years.
Also known as 'Tic Douloureux', it is a nerve disorder to the Trigeminal Nerve or 5th Cranial nerve. The trigeminal nerve is responsible for sensory data such as pressure, temperature, and pain originating from the face above the jawline.
When any pressure is applied to the Trigeminal Nerve, it triggers bouts of attack to the sufferer. Such episodes of attack can be triggered by touching of the face (such as when shaving, washing the face, or applying makeup), eating, drinking, talking, or being exposed to the wind.
Trigeminal Neuralgia occurs typically on one side of the face and due to severity of the pain attacks, it causes the sufferer to wince or twitch their face, and prevents them from carrying out their normal routine.
Trigeminal Neuralgia occurs most often in people over the age of 50, but it can occur at any age, and is more common in women than in men. In fact, women are three time more likely to be affected.
However, people who suffer from multiple sclerosis or other disorders characterized by the damage to the myelin sheath that covers certain nerves can be affected by Trigeminal Neuralgia.
There is some evidence that the disorder runs in families, perhaps because of an inherited pattern of blood vessel formation. Although sometimes debilitating, the disorder is not life-threatening.
Hopefully now, you know what is Trigeminal Neuralgia!