Trigeminal Neuralgia – 5 Facts About The World’s Most Painful Disease

This very disturbing disease produces very severe facial pain that feels like an electric shock and usually affects one side of the face. Trigeminal neuralgia can be a disabling disease, but fortunately there is a cure for it.
Trigeminal neuralgia - 5 facts about the most painful disease in the world

There are many types of pain, and as you may know, each one is different in intensity and characteristics. However, there is one pain that can well be described as “the worst pain in the world,” and this is trigeminal neuralgia. Keep reading and we’ll tell you what is trigeminal neuralgia?

In order for you to better understand the nature of this disease, we now want to tell you the main facts about it.

There are 12 pairs of nerves in a person’s head, and in some cases, one of these pairs of nerves may start to malfunction. As a result, the disease develops and the sufferer begins to lose their ability to function.

This is how trigeminal neuralgia arises and has been around for centuries. In fact, it was first described by a person named Aretaeus of Cappadocia as long ago as the 100th century.

It involves a painful live mouse and feels like an electric shock radiating through the entire facial area between the cheekbones and chin.

It is always helpful to know as much as possible about diseases that may sometimes also affect your own or loved ones. So now let’s take a closer look at what a trigeminal neuralgia is and its  five most important features that this so-called painful disorder in the world has – keep reading!

which is a trigeminal neuralgia

1. What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia is a type of  chronic pain caused by a specific nerve. In fact, this is the nerve from which the disease gets its name, and the reason is the Fifth Cranial Nerve, which also happens to be the  longest nerve in a person’s head.

This disease manifests itself in the form of a strong live mouse, and the duration of the live mouse is initially between two seconds and a full minute. During that time, the person is in a paralyzed state and is unable to chew food or talk because the pain is really severe.

When the condition initially develops, the live mice usually pass by quite quickly. Over time, however, the  trigeminal neuralgia may progress with the patient having longer-lasting periods of live mouse.

This nerve is made up of three branches, and these branches cover the eyes, scalp, forehead, and front of the head.

This explains why a person with trigeminal neuralgia usually experiences pain in the  jaw, cheeks, lips, teeth and even gums.

The culprit is a blood vessel

The ultimate cause of this disease and all the pain that comes with it is, in fact, just a blood vessel. This blood vessel presses on the trigeminal nerve at the point where it differs from the brainstem.

This happens when the layer that protects and surrounds the nerve wears out. This is simply because time passes or because the person has a disease that damages the nerve myelin .

This progressive degeneration in the trigeminal nerve then causes it to send abnormal signals to the brain.

The result is ultimately the  most intense headache a person can experience.

2. Symptoms to watch out for

The episodes come suddenly  and are short but so intense that they feel like an “electric shock”. At first, a person experiencing this phenomenon may not have any idea at all what has happened. He may not even pay much attention to it, as the space goes by very quickly.

Gradually, then, the scenes begin to come more often. After a while, all you have to do is touch your face, chew, talk, or even brush your teeth to make the scene happen.

The duration of pain attacks can be anything from  a few seconds to a full minute.

Some have a live mouse for several days. Then it might disappear and come back next month. Others spend months in a row experiencing frequent live mice.

The pain radiates through the cheeks, chin, teeth, gums, lips, and (though less frequently) through the eyes and forehead, and this is therefore for the reasons we explained earlier.

However, there is usually pain on only one side of the face. Seizures normally begin to become more repetitive and intense over time.

3. Who is most likely to get trigeminal neuralgia?

pain in the head

Generally, people over the age of 50 are most likely to get this disease. However, it should not be forgotten that young people can also start to suffer from it.

The disease is  more common in women than men and is often hereditary.

4. What tests are performed if this disease is suspected?

A positive diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia is needed for the doctor to  distinguish it from other diseases, such as migraines. The diagnosis is based on three key issues, which are as follows:

  • Type of pain : If the pain is very short-lived, you can be pretty sure you have this condition.
  • Location of pain: Determining where in the face the pain is is a basic step in making a diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia.
  • What causes pain: This type of nerve pain  often originates from light stimulation to the cheeks, as well as chewing and talking.

Once you have told your doctor the answers to these questions, the specialist will perform the following tests on you:

  • Neurological test
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

5. How is trigeminal neuralgia treated?

medication for pain

Medications

No matter what the situation, the doctor should always be the one to give advice on treatments. In this case,  anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers alone will not help.

  • Anticonvulsants  are used to control the part of the nervous system that is causing the problem.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants  can also be effective when the pain is persistent.

Surgical solutions

If the medications we mentioned recently don’t help, doctors may consider a surgical approach to solve the problem.

These treatments can be either simple or complex surgeries  and include the following methods:

  • Rhizotomy : This is a procedure in which certain nerve fibers are processed and destroyed to  combat abnormal pain signals.
  • Air Compression: This is a simple and fast technique. To do this, surgeons put a cannula through which a small ball is then inserted. This ball squeezes the trigeminal nerve to  reduce the overstimulation and the pain this causes.
  • Glycerol Injection:  This is one technique designed to isolate trigeminal nerve fibers to  prevent painful “electric shocks”.

Finally, another option, if none of the solutions described is helpful: a  method known as microvascular decompression. This is the most difficult solution, but it is also the most effective of the options we have mentioned. The best part about it is that once the procedure is done, the trigeminal neuralgia will no longer return.

While this disease can cause “the worst pain in the world,”  there is no need to suffer forever.  So the solution is to be found!

No matter what the situation, the most important thing about this disease is to be patient. So follow the good medical advice you get and try different solutions until you find one that finally makes the best of your quality of life.

The main image of the article is from © wikiHow.com.

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