What is trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal nerve carries sensation of pain from the face to the brain. There are two sets of trigeminal nerve, one on each side of the face. Each nerve has three branches for forehead, mid face and chin. Trigeminal neuralgia may affect any one or all the three branches at the same time.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic condition which causes intense pain in a part or all of the face, even on mild stimulation. People often describe it as a sharp shooting pain, or pain like an electric shock in jaws, teeth or gums.
Pain may get stimulated by mild activities like brushing the teeth or applying makeup. The pain comes on suddenly and may last few seconds to about 2 minutes. The pain ends as abruptly and suddenly as it starts. Attacks of trigeminal neuralgia may last from a few days to weeks or for months. Sometimes people develop continuous mild pain, throbbing and burning sensation, with severe attacks time to time.
Trigeminal neuralgia usually affects one side of the face, though, it may affect both sides, but not both sides at the same time.
Homeopathic medicines prove very helpful in dealing with nerve related problems like trigeminal neuralgia. Best homeopathic doctor can provide permanent solution to this problem and improve a person’s quality of life.
Sometimes the cause of trigeminal neuralgia is not evident. However some known causes include:
- Swollen blood vessels that may put pressure on the nerves causing it to malfunction
- As a result of aging process, people over 50 years are more at risk for developing this disorder
- Women are more prone to get affected as compared to men
- Due to diseases like multiple sclerosis, which damage myelin sheath protecting certain nerves
- Compression of the nerve caused due to any tumour
- Neuralgia due to brain lesion
- Surgical injuries
- Facial trauma
- Stroke, etc
There may be various triggering factors that may start excruciating pain in the face, like
- Eating and drinking
- Brushing teeth
- Putting on makeup
- Smiling or laughing
- Blowing wind on face
- Washing the face, etc
Sign and Symptoms
The sign and symptoms may include-
- Sudden and spontaneous attacks of pain triggered by factors like brushing teeth, washing face or putting on makeup, etc.
- Episodes of pain are very severe, excruciating and like an electric shock.
- Episodes may range from a few seconds to about 2 minutes at a time.
- Pain in facial region which are supplied by trigeminal nerve, like cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, lips and sometimes around eyes and forehead.
- Pain affecting one side of the face at a time
- Constant burning, aching pain which is followed by sudden severe spasmatic attacks.
- Attacks become more frequent and intense with time
There are no specific tests to diagnose trigeminal neuralgia. Diagnosis usually depends upon the presenting complaints, like the type of pain being experienced and the triggering factors.
Doctors usually take the detailed medical history of the patient and do some physical examinations that mostly involve the neurological examination to check which branch or branches of the nerve are affected. Doctor may touch different parts of the face to check which part is mostly affected and determine location of the pain.
Doctor may suggest certain tests to rule out the possibility of cluster headaches or postherpetic neuralgia, which also affect nerve fibres and skin, producing symptoms similar to trigeminal neuralgia. Doctor may also suggest for MRI of the head to look out if multiple sclerosis is responsible for the pain.
Homoeopathy provides a much safer and effective treatment for trigeminal neuralgia as compared to other conventional methods of treatment. Consulting the best homeopathic doctor for trigeminal neuralgia can reduce the episodes of excruciating pain, offer long term pain control and help in avoiding surgeries.
With the treatment of the presenting complaints and reducing the recurrences, homeopathic medicines also help in treating the underlying cause of the disease. Along with the homeopathic medicines, patients are also advised to avoid the triggering factors as much as possible that can precipitate the symptoms.