Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition which usually affects the trigeminal nerve. There are two kinds of trigeminal neuralgia: typical trigeminal neuralgia and atypical trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia is more common among women than men, and it is more likely to occur in people over 50. Trigeminal neuralgia may worsen over time and it is difficult to be cured. Some treatments can help to relieve its symptoms and reduce pain.
Patients with mild trigeminal neuralgia can take some pain relievers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. But regular pain relievers are not effective to severe situations. Usually, anticonvulsant drugs are used to ease trigeminal neuralgia symptoms. Carbamazepine and gabapentin are often prescribed by doctors.
- Electric current therapy: using short bouts of electric current to numb trigeminal nerve and ease pain.
- Glycerol injection: providing pain relief for 6 to 12 months by injecting glycerol into the central part of the trigeminal nerve.
- Microvascular decompression surgery: removing or repositioning blood vessels causing too much pressure in the trigeminal nerve.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery: using radiation beams to relieve pain in trigeminal nerve.
- Balloon compression: using tiny balloon inflated around the trigeminal nerve to reduce pressure and ease pain.
- Peripheral radiofrequency thermocoagulation: damaging the nerve endings and easing pain (some side effects may occur).
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