Trigeminal neuropathies are well known to be characterized by mucosal and skin numbness in areas triggered by the trigeminal nerve. Numbness in the face implies that alteration of trigeminal sensory affects the trigeminal system. Trigeminal nerves function by carrying sensitivity from the face to the brain. Patients with this disorder tend to feel pain from mild stimulation in the face like brushing the teeth or even applying make ups. At first, the pain can be short and mild, but it lasts longer and becomes more frequent with time. This disorder is common in women than men, affecting individuals with more than 50 years. Having TNs does not imply that your life is doomed to pain. Usually, it is managed effectively through surgery, injection, and medication.
Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuropathy
So many symptoms characterize trigeminal neuropathy. Below are some highlighted patterns of this disorder.
- Episodes of jabbing or shooting pain that is severe and feels like an electric shock
- Constant pain attacks are triggered by chewing, brushing the teeth, touching the face, applying makeup, or even speaking.
- Mild pain that takes few seconds but slowly increases to minutes
- The episodes of the attacks may last from days to months or quite longer. Other individuals may have periods when they don’t experience pain
- Constant burning and itching sensation occur before pain-like spasms.
- Feeling pain in the parts connected with the trigeminal nerve, such as teeth, gum, cheeks, lips, jaws, forehead, and eyes.
- Episodes of pain that affects one side of the face
- Feeling pain that affects one spot or sometimes spread to a wide area
- Attacks that grows more frequent and extreme over time
Causes of Trigeminal Neuropathy Condition
The main cause TNs is the damage of the trigeminal nerve. The problem usually within contact blood vessels such as veins or the artery and the trigeminal nerve in the lower part of the brain. When this occurs, there is a lot of pressure exerted on the nerve leading to its malfunctioning.
As well, it can be a result of aging. Also, it can be as a result of various sclerosis or related disorder that destroys the myelin sheath which protects certain nerves. Additionally, it can be caused by a tumor when it compresses the trigeminal nerve.
Some people can get this disorder due to brain lesions or any other abnormalities. In some cases, facial trauma, surgical injury, or even stroke can lead to trigeminal neuropathy.
Diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuropathy
If you experience some pain in the face and the sensation keeps repeating or don’t respond to any pain relievers, seek medical attention. It would be best if you were prepared to tell the doctor how the pain appeared and how many times you have been feeling. Also, it is important to of what could be the possible things that trigger the pain.
Expect many questions from the doctor concerning the condition. You can also undergo a neurological examination. The doctor will touch different face parts and carry out a reflex test to see if the nerve is compressed. MRI imaging test will also be conducted to indicate whether tumor or sclerosis is the condition’s cause.
Treatment of Trigeminal Neuropathy
Having this condition does not mean that you will be subjected to lifetime pain. It can be treated and controlled. Major forms of treatment include surgery and medication. However, there are other forms of treatment.
Typically, pain relievers do not work effectively for people with this condition. However, the doctor can prescribe several types of pain drugs.
- The anticonvulsant medication prevents the nerves from responding to irritation.
- Muscle relaxants can also help when used alone or with an anticonvulsant.
- Antidepressants may be used in managing the symptoms.
- According to the research, when medication fails to stop the TN pain, Botox shots may be of help.
Sometimes medication can completely fail to help in easing the pain. Never worry. There are some surgical options. The good thing about surgery it’s not a must you be admitted to the hospital. There are different types of surgery; hence doctors’ opinion depending on the general help is important. The procedure of treatment includes the following.
- Balloon compression. An empty balloon is threaded in the space between the skull and the trigeminal nerve. It is then inflated to compress the nerve in the hard bone to destroy the nerve insulation. This will make you not feel pain for the light touch.
- Gamma Knife Radiosurgery. It involves the use of radiation on the trigeminal nerve.
- Radio Frequency oblation. Under this procedure, the patient and the doctor points out an additional area in the trigeminal area that may be the source of pain. Then an electrical current is directed to that area to reduce the pain sensation.
- Neurectomy. Part of the trigeminal nerve is cut to ease the pain.
- Decompression of the Microvascular. It involves removing the blood vessels that damage the nerve.
Natural treatment of TNs
Sometimes western medication may fail to work or might be expensive. Explore and try out the following natural forms of treatment. It is confirmed to work, and you can also make inquiries from the doctor.
- Acupuncture. It is a traditional Chinese medication that involves thin needles for balancing energy flow in the body.
- Aromatherapy. Involves the use of oil from plants such as lavender and peppermint
- Chiropractic care
- Biofeedback. It involves learning body control to reduce the TNs pain
The Bottom Line
Trigeminal neuropathy is a continuous pain condition affecting the nerves in the face. The pains can be triggered by simple things such as chewing, laughing, brushing teeth, chewing, among many more. TNs is common on women, and it typically affects those with the above 50 years. It is a common condition that affects a lot of people. The symptoms are easy to tell, making it easy to seek medication. Furthermore, the trigeminal disorder is treatable both medically and the use of natural ways. So don’t worry that because of that condition, pain is now part of your life. Seek medical attention and outline the possible causes and the right method of treatment.