Trigeminal neuralgia is commonly experienced through shooting pain in the face. In August 2011, a popular Indian film actor, Salman Khan had undergone a surgery as he was suffering from “Trigeminal Neuralgia”, a nerve disorder that caused him intense pain in the face. It appears that he is not the only one suffering from it and as the pains symptoms got to be published in newspapers, it started getting reported to doctors, more often.
Now trigeminal neuralgia affects the trigeminal nerve, one of the largest nerves in the head. The trigeminal nerve sends impulses of touch, pain, pressure, and temperature to the brain from the face, jaw, gums, forehead, and around the eyes.
If you have trigeminal neuralgia, even mild stimulation of your face – such as from brushing your teeth or putting on makeup – may trigger a jolt of excruciating pain. You may initially experience short, mild attacks, but trigeminal neuralgia can progress, causing longer, more frequent bouts of searing pain.
What are the causes of trigeminal neuralgia?
The human face has two trigeminal nerves, one on each side. Each nerve splits into three branches which transmit sensations of pain and touch from the face, mouth, and teeth to the brain.
Most cases of trigeminal neuralgia are believed to be caused by blood vessels pressing on the root of the trigeminal nerve. This is said to make the nerve transmit pain signals which are experienced as the stabbing pains of trigeminal neuralgia. However, experts are not completely sure of the cause.
What are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia?
Typically, a patient will have one or more of these symptoms:
- Intermittent twinges of mild pain.
- Severe episodes of searing, shooting, jabbing pain that feel like electric shocks.
- Sudden attacks of pain which are triggered by touching the face, chewing, speaking or brushing teeth.
- Spasms of pain which last from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes.
- Episodes of cluster attacks which may go on for days, weeks, months, and in some cases longer. There may be periods without any pain.
- Pain wherever the trigeminal nerve and its branches may reach, including the forehead, eyes, lips, gums, teeth, jaw and cheek.
- Pain which affects one side of the face.
- Pain on both sides of the face (much less common).
- Pain that is focused in one spot or spreads in a wider pattern.
- Attacks of pain which occur more regularly and intensely over time.
- Tingling or numbness in the face before pain develops.
Some patients may experience bouts of pain regularly for days, weeks or months at a time. Attacks of pain may occur hundreds of times each day in severe cases. Some patients may have periods without any symptoms which last for months or even years.
What is the common treatment for trigeminal neuralgia?
For Trigeminal neuralgia treatment, conventional doctors would prescribe Carbamazepine. Carbamazepine is actually an anticonvulsant (epilepsy) which is found to be effective treatment in many cases as long as taken for a very long period.
Serious side effects of Carbamazepine are:
- It has tendency to cause serious and life-threatening blood dyscrasias and bone marrow suppression
- Overdose of carbamazepine could prove fatal, deaths have been reported rarely, with very large doses, without supervision of a doctor.
- Increased infections or infections that do not go away
- An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Early side effects are drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness, or nausea.
- Memory loss and a sense of exhaustion are observed commonly.
- Weight gain is a major and common side effect.
- Osteoporosis (loss of calcium) is a common adverse effect demanding extra dose of calcium supplement.
- Damage in vision is a major long term side effect.
- Skin rash and lowered blood pressure may prove serious problem in some patients, calling for urgent medical attention.
- Hematologic (blood related), hepatic (liver related), cardiovascular (heart related) and dermatologic reactions, which require discontinuation of therapy.
- Psychiatric symptoms likes hallucinations (visual or acoustic), depression, sometimes, talkativeness, agitation, loss of appetite, restlessness, aggressive behavior, confusion, suicidal behavior etc
Alternatively there is a surgical treatment and also set of injections, which are given to silent the nerves.
Homeopathy treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia
Homeopathy is known to completely take care of the pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia and gradually cure it permanently. The speciality treatment protocol followed at Welling Clinic makes the whole process, gentle, painless and quick. In the last 200 years, Homeopathy has helped thousands of people get permanent relief from the suffering of Trigeminal Neuralgia. Needless to say, it is still equally effective and without any known side effects.