Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia
Trigeminal Neuralgia is described as the malfunction of trigeminal nerves due to injury or damage to these nerves, leading to sharp muscle spasms or pain in the face.
Patients suffering from this disease describe the pain like an electric shock similar to a very severe, sharp stabbing pain starting as a burning or needle-like sensation and then getting intense. The duration varies from a few seconds to 2 minutes depending on the patient’s history and stage of the disease.
Even the routine tasks become extremely painful as they trigger attacks of pain because the muscles involved are stimulated. As nerves are aligned in various regions of the face, certain parts become very sensitive to touch, and even wafts of wind can cause a painful attack.
Most commonly, the nerves of mandibular and maxillary regions are affected, so pain usually occurs around the eyes, ear, nose, lips or inside of the mouth. It leads to avoidance of certain tasks like talking, drinking, smoking, kissing, etc. Even trivial activities like brushing the teeth or shaving can lead to intense episodes of pain.
Features of pain
Pain occurs only at one side of the face. Rarely pain tends to occurs on both sides of the face. The episodes of pain can last for several weeks, followed by revocation of months or years.
Frequency in the early stage is usually less and increases with time. Pain is mostly concentrated at a specific spot and spreads in an extending pattern.
A lesser common type of this disease is called atypical trigeminal neuralgia which is accompanied by a continuous dull aching pain of lesser intensity. These shocks of pain may last for days.
Some researchers think that this ailment occurs due to the damage done to the protective sheath of trigeminal nerves leading to malfunction when carrying messages as abnormal impulses travel along the nerve.
Other causes include multiple sclerosis, tumors of various types (as tumors compress the nerve and cause disruption), and aging. But the opinion of the majority of doctors is that it is caused due to a pressure of an abnormal vein or artery on the nerve passing through the face.
In some cases, surgical injuries or side effects, various traumas or strokes may also be responsible for this disorder as they tend to disturb the normal functioning of the nerve impulse.
Another cause might be arteriovenous malformation in which a tangle of various arteries and veins is formed abnormally, causing the squashing of nerves.