What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Tic Douloureux or Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a neuropathic disorder causing episodes of intense pain in the eyes, lips, nose, scalp, forehead and jaw. The condition of TN is typically characterized by sudden and brief attacks of intense and stabbing pain and is usually limited to one side of the face.

The incidence of trigeminal neuralgia is relatively low with a rate of 150 per million people per year. It usually develops after the age of 40. Incidence of trigeminal neuralgia has been found to be quite higher in women as compared to men.

The various types of trigeminal neuralgia include:

1. Typical Trigeminal Neuralgia
2. Atypical trigeminal Neuralgia
3. Pre-Trigeminal Neuralgia
4. Multiple Sclerosis-related Trigeminal Neuralgia
5. Secondary or Tumor related Trigeminal Neuralgia
6. Post traumatic trigeminal Neuralgia
7. ‘Failed’ trigeminal Neuralgia


Causative Factors

The onset of trigeminal neuralgia is assumed to be a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve in the head, which sends branches to the forehead, cheek and lower jaw.

Other causes of trigeminal neuralgia include pressure of a tumor on the nerve or multiple sclerosis, damaging the myelin sheaths.

Besides, attacks of trigeminal neuralgia may be triggered of by the one of the below:

• Light touch on the skin
• Washing
• Shaving, brushing the teeth
• Blowing the nose
• Drinking hot or cold beverages
• Encountering a light breeze
• Applying makeup
• Smiling and talking