Trigeminal neuralgia

Facial pain caused by irritation of one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve. This is the sensory cranial nerve which innervates the face. Pain in the trigeminal nerve occurs mainly in older people. It is characterized by various sharp twinges lasting a few seconds, in the area of one cheek or jaw. These attacks are often brought on by touching the nostril, by chewing or by speaking, and may be repeated constantly. Sometimes there are periods of remission lasting for years. Before the diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia can be made, it is necessary to rule out any other causes of pain in the face, such as inflammation of the ear, sinuses and jaw. In addition, eye conditions such as glaucoma and nervous pain after shingles can also cause pain in the face.