Once diagnosed, help is available through application of multiple treatment methods
Pain due to trigeminal neuralgia usually occurs as short attacks in the face mostly on one side. Pain is very debilitating and is triggered by talking, chewing, brushing teeth, washing face, cold air exposure, combing hair, shaving or any other activity. In many patients there is a blood vessel which may be compressing the trigeminal nerve in side skull (head) and it is usually visible in a special MRI scan of brain.
Often in small number of cases this pain is related to multiple sclerosis, brain tumour and other neurological disorders and no specific cause can be found. Carbamazepine (tegretol), an antiepileptic medication is very effective to control this pain but has tolerance problems because of side effects related to memory, tiredness and effect on liver and blood sodium levels.