Understanding Trigeminal Neuralgia: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Coping Strategies in the Face of ‘The Suicide Disease’

October 7 is recognized as Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) Awareness Day. Join us to help raise awareness about this debilitating condition.

Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy? We can help.

Neurological disorders can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life. Two such conditions, trigeminal neuralgia and peripheral neuropathy, can cause intense pain and discomfort, often leading to challenges in daily life. Though an exact figure remains uncertain, experts approximate that approximately 10,000 to 15,000 new cases of TN are identified annually.

What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia, also called tic douloureux and commonly referred to as the “suicide disease,” is a condition where people experience intense and unexpected facial pain. It happens because of issues with the trigeminal nerve, which is like a messaging system for sensations in the head and face. TN is a particular pain problem that usually occurs when there’s damage or a problem with this nerve.

Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia

  • Abrupt and severe pain, usually affecting just one side of the face
  • Pain episodes lasting anywhere from a few seconds to roughly two minutes
  • Sensations of numbness or tingling
  • Feelings of burning, throbbing, shocking, or aching discomfort
  • Repeated episodes of pain happening regularly, spanning days to weeks or even longer, sometimes occurring multiple times each day

Diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia

Your doctor will determine if you have trigeminal neuralgia mainly by listening to your description of the pain, including:

  • How it feels: Pain from trigeminal neuralgia comes on suddenly, feels like a jolt, and is brief.
  • Where it hurts: The areas on your face that hurt can help the doctor understand if the trigeminal nerve is affected.
  • What causes it: Trigeminal neuralgia pain is typically triggered by activities like eating, talking, gentle touching of your face or even exposure to a cool breeze.

Your doctor might also recommend neurological exams, reflex tests and MRIs to diagnose your condition.

Treating trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia treatment typically begins with medications, and some individuals may not require further intervention. However, as time passes, some patients may become unresponsive to medications or encounter unwanted side effects. In such cases, alternative treatment options, like injections or surgery, may be considered for trigeminal neuralgia.

If your condition is linked to an underlying cause, such as multiple sclerosis, your doctor will focus on addressing that primary condition as part of the treatment approach.

Is trigeminal neuralgia related to peripheral neuropathy?

Trigeminal neuralgia is the most frequently encountered neuropathic pain affecting the facial and head area. It is marked by abrupt, fleeting and typically one-sided, intense recurring bouts of stabbing pain in areas supplied by one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve.

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition marked by the degeneration of peripheral sensory nerves that results from a complication of a certain disease or injury. Symptoms vary from patient to patient and include tingling, numbness, hypersensitivity and intense, jarring pain in the extremities.

Coping with trigeminal neuralgia

Coping with trigeminal neuralgia can affect daily life and well-being, often leading to sleep issues and isolation. A support group can provide insights and shared experiences. Consider cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for pain management and consult your physician to discuss TN coping strategies that will work best for you.

WinSanTor is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of treatments for peripheral neuropathies. We believe in creating a solution that works and brings relief to millions who are struggling with this disease. Learn more about our companyour drug and subscribe to our newsletter.

Sources

FAQs

What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia, also called tic douloureux and commonly referred to as the "suicide disease," is a condition where people experience intense and unexpected facial pain.

What are symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia?

Abrupt and severe pain, usually affecting just one side of the face
Pain episodes lasting anywhere from a few seconds to roughly two minutes
Sensations of numbness or tingling
Feelings of burning, throbbing, shocking, or aching discomfort
Repeated episodes of pain happening regularly, spanning days to weeks or even longer, sometimes occurring multiple times each day

Is trigeminal neuralgia related to peripheral neuropathy?

Trigeminal neuralgia is the most frequently encountered neuropathic pain affecting the facial and head area. It is marked by abrupt, fleeting and typically one-sided, intense recurring bouts of stabbing pain in areas supplied by one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Sign up for our newsletter

Free to join.

Your privacy is very important to us. We will never share your information without your written consent.

WinSanTor is based in San Diego, California, USA

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform:

Related Posts

a red ribbon in a woman's hand against a red backdrop, symbolizing HIV awareness
HIV-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

What is HIV-Induced Neuropathy?

Causes of HIV-induced neuropathy Neuropathy in individuals with HIV can result from various factors. The virus triggers inflammation that harms nerves, contributing to the condition. Certain drugs, referred to as

Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy? We can help.