Trigeminal neuralgia (or trigeminal neuralgia (TN)) — is a disease that develops due to lesions of the fifth pair of cranial nerves and is accompanied by acute episodes of piercing facial pain. Periods of remission and exacerbation are characteristic of TN.
If not treated properly, aimed at identifying and eliminating the cause, paroxysms can lead to temporary or even permanent disability.
Statistically, facial neuralgia occurs more frequently in women than in men. In 70% of clinical cases, right-sided lesions are diagnosed, 29% are left-sided and another 1% are bilateral neuralgia.
Symptoms and signs of TN
The main manifestation of trigeminal neuralgia is an acute piercing excruciating pain comparable to an electric shock. The frequency of attacks may reach 100 episodes per day, which last for up to 2 minutes. The pain is usually localized in the area of impaired innervation of one of the sensory branches of the trigeminal nerve. It may be intensified by chewing, pressing, touching.
Other symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia:
• pain in the teeth on the respective side;
• redness of the face and sclerae;
• nasal discharge;
• facial paresthesias (impaired sensitivity - burning, the crawling sensation of goosebumps, etc.).
It is important to make an appointment to see a doctor at the first signs of the disease. Delay can cause the inflammatory process to spread to larger areas of the facial nerve and lead to complications. The earlier treatment begins, the better the prognosis and the better the chances of a full recovery.
In most cases, the pain syndrome is caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve trunk by an arterial loop. The causes of the disease may be:
• vascular and nerve conflict in the pontocerebellar angle (nerve root compression by an abnormal vascular loop);
• herpesvirus infection (HV1, HV2, HV5, HV6, VZV);
• demyelination of the nerve trunk in the area of entry into the brain;
• structural changes in the skull due to frequent inflammations of the sinuses;
• tumors of the pontocerebellar angle;
• vascular pathologies accompanied by thickening of their walls (hypertension, atherosclerosis);
• multiple sclerosis;
• poor-quality performance of dental manipulations.