What is trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition in which a person experiences sudden and severe facial pain.
What causes trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is thought to be caused by the trigeminal nerve, which provides sensation to the face, becoming compressed. In most cases this is due to pressure on the trigeminal nerve close to where it enters the brain stem. This is known as primary trigeminal neuralgia. It can also be caused by other conditions, which is known as secondary trigeminal neuralgia, including:
- A tumour
- A cyst
- Arteriovenous malformation
- Multiple sclerosis
- Facial injury
- Damage caused by surgery
What are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia?
The main symptom of trigeminal neuralgia is attacks of sudden and severe facial pain. These attacks usually affect only one side of the face and last from a few seconds to two minutes.