Trigeminal Nerve is the fifth Cranial Nerve and has three major branches – the Ophthalmic Nerve (V1), the Maxillary Nerve (V2) and the Mandibular Nerve (V3). It is defined by International Association Of Pain (IASP) defines Trigeminal Neuralgia as “sudden usually unilateral severe brief stabbing recurrent pain in the distribution of one or more branches of Vth Cranial Nerve”
1. How does it present?
- a. Usually limited to one side of face
- b. Recurrent electric shock like short episodes of pain in the distribution of trigeminal nerve
- c. Pain starts and stops suddenly
- d. The pain can be triggered by minimal stimuli like a small tap, brushing teeth, washing one’s face, swallowing, hot or cold drinks, chewing, or even a mild breeze
- e. Sometimes the episodes come even without a specific trigger
- f. Worsens with time and can be quite debilitating physically and mentally
2. How can it be treated?