What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia (TGN) is a disorder in which you experience episodes of severe, stabbing, electric shock-like pain in your face as the result of a blood vessel or other lesion coming in contact with your trigeminal nerve. Contact with the trigeminal nerve causes excruciating pain on that side of your face, most commonly in your lower face and jaw, although it sometimes occurs around your nose and above your eye.
Many common activities can trigger trigeminal pain: shaving, washing your face, applying make-up, brushing your teeth, laughing, chewing, drinking, talking, and sometimes just breathing. Touching your cheek, feeling a vibration, or even a breeze or heat and cold can trigger the intense flashes of pain.
Episodes can last for days, weeks, or months at a time and then disappear for months or years. The attacks often worsen over time, with fewer and shorter pain-free periods before they recur.
Trigeminal neuralgia occurs most often in people over age 50, but it can occur at any age and is more common in women than in men.
We can help
You don't have to suffer the intense pain and incapacitating effects of trigeminal neuralgia. At The Mount Sinai Health System, we are experienced in finding the best treatment for each patient to achieve long-lasting relief. If you think you may have trigeminal neuralgia, or you need relief of your TGN symptoms and pain, call us to schedule an appointment at 212-241-2377.
Helen Rock suffered from recurrent episodes of intense facial pain for 10 years. She finally sought treatment for her trigeminal neuralgia at Mount Sinai. View Video