I live with trigeminal neuralgia which causes pain in my face and head. This is an extremely painful and debilitating condition.
I have several posts on my blog about the condition, including one about emergency treatments when pain is out of control.
What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
The trigeminal nerve is one of twelve pairs of cranial nerves. We have one on both sides of the face. Each nerve enters the face just above the ear and splits into three branches.
- The top branch (V1 – the ophthalmic nerve) covers the eye, forehead area and goes from the bridge to the tip of the nose.
- The middle branch ( V2 – the maxillary nerve) covers the upper jaw, cheek, side of nose, top lip, palate, part of tongue, top teeth and gums.
- The bottom branch (V3 – the mandibular nerve) covers the chin and lower jaw area as well as part of the ear, the bottom lip, bottom teeth, gums and part of the tongue.
Sometimes the trigeminal nerve sends pain signals to the brain. There may be a reason for the pain signals such as pressure on the nerve from a blood vessel, a tumour or trauma to the face or head. However, very often, the reason is unknown.
What does Trigeminal Neuralgia Feel Like?
The condition normally affects just one side of the face but can happen on both. Either one, two or all three branches can be affected.
The pain can feel like an electric shock or a bolt of lightning. This type of pain can come and go. Some sufferers can have remission periods which can last for weeks, months or even years in a few cases.
Some people have constant pain (atypical trigeminal neuralgia) which can ache, burn, throb and stab. There is normally no remission periods with this type of pain.
Many people have both types.
There are several types of trigeminal neuralgia and there are treatments and medications which can help. More information can be found about them on my Facebook Awareness and Information page, End Trigeminal Neuralgia.
Helpful Posts About Trigeminal Neuralgia on my Blog
- Emergency treatments – If your TN is out of control, A&E or ER can give meds by IV. This post contains details.
- Trigeminal Neuralgia Triggers – Very often trigeminal neuralgia is triggered by certain things.
- Migraine and Trigeminal Neuralgia – Many people suffer from both of these conditions. Could there be a link?
- Chronic Migraine and Facial Pain – Because I lived with chronic migraines, my doctors presumed that my facial pain was caused by them. It was actually trigeminal neuralgia.
- How to Look After Painful Teeth – This posts has some ideas which might help pain in the teeth from TN. There are tips for cleaning teeth and visiting the dentist.
- Pain Diary – Using a pain diary can help you find triggers.
- Help doctors help you – This post has some tips which might help your doctor understand and help more. It includes diagrams to explain your pain.
- Medication help – Helpful suggestions about taking meds.
- Coping with medication side effects – Suggestion to help those side effects from meds.
- Tips for coping with dry mouth – Dry mouth can be a common side effect of medication.
- Eating and cooking tips – Eating can be difficult with TN. This post has some tips which might help.
- How to protect your face from cold weather – Cold weather is often one of the worst triggers for trigeminal neuralgia sufferers.
Awareness Posts (Including Submission From Other Sufferers)
- Why Trigeminal Neuralgia Needs Awareness
- How to Explain the Pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia
- Trigeminal Neuralgia Affects Young People Too
- It’s a Pain in the Face
- It’s a Living Nightmare
- TN – an Invisible Illness
- Working Together for Better TN Awareness
My Posts About Trigeminal Neuralgia on Other Websites
- Pain Resource – A post about my struggle to get a diagnosis.
- Pain Resource – My opinion on trigeminal neuralgia’s nickname.
- Facial Pain Association
- Young Patient’s Committee (A branch of the FPA specifically for TN sufferers under the age of 40)
- TNA UK
- End Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness and Information
- End TN Support Group
I have a board on Pinterest just for posts related to TN. Please click on the following link to visit it.