What is it?

Trigeminal neuralgia is a type of chronic pain that affects your face. It causes extreme, sudden burning or shock-like pain. It usually affects one side of the face. Any vibration on your face, even from talking, can set it off. The condition may come and go, disappearing for days or even months.

What are the symptoms?

  • Sudden attacks of severe, sharp and shooting facial pain that last from a few seconds to about two minutes.

Trigeminal neuralgia usually only affects one side of your face. In rare cases it can affect both sides, although not at the same time. The pain can be in the teeth, the lower jaw, upper jaw, cheek and, less commonly, in the forehead or the eye. You may experience bouts of pain that last only a few seconds or minutes. A series of attacks can last days, weeks, or months, followed by periods of remission.

What to expect?

In addition to treatment by your doctor the following things may reduce your symptoms:

  • Try to avoid triggers.

You may be able to identify certain triggers that cause the pain and reduce the number of attacks by avoiding them. Common triggers include cold wind or draught, touching certain places in the face or making certain movements with the face. If your pain is triggered by wind, it may help to wear a scarf wrapped around your face in windy weather.

Think you might have Trigeminal neuralgia?

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Think you might have Trigeminal neuralgia?