The trigeminal corresponds to a pair of that are in the facial region. As a general rule, it acts both as a sensory branch (it receives stimuli from the external environment) and as a motor branch (it allows the movement of the muscles in this area). Thus, we can chew but also have sensitivity to temperature, pain, etc.
Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia
The specialists have also determined a series of symptoms or signs associated with this disorder . On the other hand, the disease usually affects only one side of the patient’s face, on rare occasions it alters both facial sides. Among the most common symptoms we find:
- Very intense pain or discomfort that patients usually compare with a strong puncture and even an electric shock. On the other hand, it usually appears in the form of intermittent episodes that may have different durations. The periods between each episode are usually painless or daily.
Causes of trigeminal neuralgia
As a general rule, pain arises from the stimulation of the nerve in certain regions (“trigger zones”). It is usually the nose, the lips or the cheek. Soon after the pain or discomfort begins in the cheeks or in the area near the jaw (maxillary and mandibular nerve branch).
Currently the cause or trigger of this disease has not been discovered . However, according to several clinical studies, the disorder may be due to compression or other alteration of the trigeminal nerve. For example, it may be due to the presence of a blood vessel (it includes both an artery and a vein) with abnormal characteristics.
On the other hand, neuralgia can present an underlying cause such as a malformation of the structure of the skull, tumors or cysts in the brain and even .
Diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia
On the other hand, the medical team can carry out a series of physical examinations and medical procedures during the diagnosis. In this way, this pathology can be identified and other alterations with similar characteristics can be ruled out. For example, they can be carried out:
- Review of the symptoms that the patient may present. Also check the patient’s medical history and the history or family members who have suffered this alteration.
- Other tests can also be done, such as blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid (using a lumbar puncture )
Treatment of trigeminal neuralgia
The final goal of the treatment is to calm the symptoms or signs that the patient may present and try to correct the nerve injury. For example, among the most usual methods of therapy we can highlight:
- Use of analgesic drugs, that is, that are able to calm or reduce intense pain. Also, it is possible that the subject may suffer a series of side effects or adverse. For example, a feeling of vertigo, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, etc.
- Realization of surgical interventions. From a microvascular decompression in which the nerve is separated from the anomalous blood vessel that is compressing it, until a surgery to calm the pain when the drugs have not fulfilled their objective.
Prevention of trigeminal neuralgia
In this way a complete study can be carried out, it is of particular relevance to perform a neurological examination of the patient and a clinical history that includes other episodes of neuralgia either as a personal history or as a family history. In addition, if the doctor considers it necessary, complementary imaging tests will be performed.