Facial Pain – Trigeminal Neuralgia

Do you have an electric shock-like pain on your face that comes frequently on and off on one side of your face or sometimes on both? Does it get worse with touching the face, brushing teeth, and chewing?

If so, then you most likely suffer from trigeminal neuralgia. This is a condition that is caused by pressure or damage to a trigeminal nerve that sends sensations from your face to the brain. It is thought that around 6,000 people in the UK have trigeminal neuralgia every year and, it is more common in women aged between 50 and 60 years.

You should book an appointment with a doctor (GP) if you have repeated intermittent pain in your face. The GP will ask you some questions about the problem and also conduct a visual examination during a video consultation to find out what could be the cause of the facial pain.

There is a treatment with a medication called Carbamazepine which a GP can prescribe at a low dose and for a short period initially if you are diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. However, you will need monitoring and follow-up with your regular GP to check the response to treatment. It will also be advisable to keep a daily pain diary. Your GP can refer you to a specialist if your pain does not improve or you develop additional worrying symptoms.

Living with trigeminal neuralgia can be very difficult and it can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. However, the treatment available does help in most cases.

Other facial-related articles can be found within our Health Resource Centre.

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