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All about trigeminal neuralgia causes of trigeminal neuralgia symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia treatment for trigeminal neuralgia

What causes trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia is caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve which is a nerve in the face. It is not known what causes the nerve damage. The origin of trigeminal neuralgia is not certain, but scientists believe it may be caused by degeneration, pressure, or irritation of the trigeminal nerve. Some doctors believe the pain may be triggered by pressure from a nearby abnormally-formed artery lying too close to the nerve.

Any part of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve may be affected. Neuralgia of the first branch leads to pain around the eyes and over the forehead; the second branch causes pain in the upper lip, nose and cheek; the third branch causes pain on the side of the tongue and lower lip.

The first episodes are usually fairly mild and brief, and it may be minutes, hours, or weeks before the next attack. However, attacks tend to occur in clumps that may last for weeks at a time. As the sufferer ages, the episodes become more frequent and painful, until the person begins to live in constant fear of the next one.

More information on trigeminal neuralgia

What is trigeminal neuralgia? - Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as tic douloureux, is a painful disorder of a nerve in the face called the trigeminal nerve or fifth cranial nerve.
What causes trigeminal neuralgia? - Trigeminal neuralgia is caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve. The origin of trigeminal neuralgia may be caused by degeneration, pressure, or irritation of the trigeminal nerve.
What're the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia? - Trigeminal neuralgia causes episodes of sudden, intense facial pain that usually last for two minutes or less.
How is trigeminal neuralgia diagnosed? - Diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia is usually made by eliminating other problems that could cause similar pain in teeth, jaw, head, or sinuses.
What's the treatment for trigeminal neuralgia? - The first treatment for trigeminal neuralgia usually is carbamazepine. Surgical treatment to block pain signals from the nerve may be effective.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005