Most people would not refer to brushing their teeth, washing their face, or putting on makeup as excruciatingly painful. However, for trigeminal neuralgia sufferers, these simple tasks can produce agonizing pain. Trigeminal neuralgia is a disease that affects the trigeminal nerve. This is the nerve that allows your face to feel sensation. One sufferer said while describing the way that trigeminal neuralgia makes her feel “My pain has reached a new level of agony. I feel frightened, I feel alone. This is what trigeminal neuralgia does to me. It leaves me isolated, afraid, and depressed.” We believe that no one should be forced to live with pain like this. If you are dealing with trigeminal neuralgia, know that we understand and care about your pain. We want to use our years of experience and training to help you successfully manage your trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia can cause very short and mild painful attacks, or it can cause extended bouts of searing pain. It affects women with greater frequency than men and is most common in people who are over 50 years of age.
What Are the Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia may include one or multiple of the following facial symptoms:
- Excruciating pain that has been compared to an electric shock. Some have described the pain as shooting or as jabbing
- Spontaneous pain caused by common activities like brushing your teeth, talking, or chewing
- Pain that can last anywhere from a few seconds to minutes
- Pain in the cheek, teeth, lips, and the jaw
- Pain that affects one side of the face at a time. In some rare circumstances, both sides of the face may be affected
- Flare ups that become frequent and increase in intensity with time
- Pain that starts in one spot and then spreads over a wider area of the face
Living with trigeminal neuralgia is difficult. We realize that this painful disease is having a significant impact on the quality of your life. In addition to the physical and emotional stress that comes from dealing with pain on a daily basis, there are other side effects including feelings of isolation and depression.
What Causes Trigeminal Neuralgia?
The trigeminal nerve is what allows your face to feel good and bad sensations. With trigeminal neuralgia, this nerve is being compressed. In most cases, this is caused by a blood vessel on a part of the nerve inside the skull.
In some rare instances, trigeminal neuralgia is caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve because of sclerosis, a tumor, or some other underlying condition. Some may experience trigeminal neuralgia after a stroke, facial trauma, brain lesions, or another abnormality.
What makes this condition so insidious is that an attack can be brought about by things that are a normal part of everyday life. Just sitting underneath the air-conditioning to get relief from the summer sun can trigger pain.
As a result, individuals who deal with trigeminal neuralgia develop a phobia of living life. Since attacks are unpredictable, they can leave you with anxiety and depression. This heightened state of anxiety and stress can lead to more frequent and more severe trigeminal neuralgia attacks.
Researchers are not sure how many people are affected by trigeminal neuralgia. But they believe that it is a very rare condition affecting only 10 in every 100,000 people. Women are more prone to trigeminal neuralgia than men are. Most people have their first experience with trigeminal neuralgia when they are between 50 and 60 years of age. Rarely does a person under 40 develop this disorder.
How Can We Help
Living with chronic facial pain is maddening. It saps the energy you need to enjoy your life. You did not ask for trigeminal neuralgia, however, you can do something about it. We want to show you how.
Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive pain management system to help you deal with trigeminal neuralgia. We start by listening to you. We are keenly interested in hearing about your unique and individual pain.
With this information, we are able to design a pain management treatment that is tailored to meet your unique situation. No two people experience pain in the same way. So no two people will need the exact same pain management treatment. In order to be effective, it must be unique.
In times past, doctors and other medical professionals may have told you that the pain you were experiencing was imaginary. We know that there is no such thing as imaginary pain. All pain is real. We will never belittle or minimize the pain you are experiencing.
Our goal is to provide you with short-term and long-term pain management treatment. Regardless of the amount of time it takes, we will continue to work with you until we are able to get your pain to a level where you can go back to living a normal life. You will never have to worry about us giving up on you. Trigeminal neuralgia pain is relentless, and so are we.
We are excited to use our years of experience to help you. We want you to get back to living the quality life you deserve.