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Trigeminal neuralgia is a type of nerve pain that specifically affects the face. Flare-ups of trigeminal neuralgia often begin with a tingling or numbness and progress to intense bursts of sharp pain. The parts of the face that are most commonly affected by trigeminal neuralgia include:
While it is less common, trigeminal neuralgia can also affect:
Trigeminal neuralgia usually only affects one side of the face. In rare cases, it can affect both sides of the face, although not at the same time.
Who Does Trigeminal Neuralgia Affect?
Trigeminal neuralgia can affect anyone, but there are certain segments of the population that are more likely to suffer from trigeminal neuralgia. These include:
People more than 50 years of age
Those with a family history of trigeminal neuralgia
Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms
Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by sudden attacks of severe, shooting pain in the face. This pain typically lasts anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Accurate diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia relies heavily on a patient's ability to describe the location and type of pain they are experiencing. Giving your doctor details of the pain, such as where and when it occurs, may help with making a diagnosis.
There are a range of trigeminal neuralgia and facial pain treatment options available at Stanford Health Care. Some patients receive pain relief from medication and conservative care for their symptoms, while others require surgery.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.