What is Trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) or tic doloureux (also known as prosopalgia) is a neuropathic disorder of the trigeminal nerve that causes episodes of intense pain in the eyes, lips, nose, scalp, forehead, and jaw. It is estimated that 1 in 15,000 people suffer from trigeminal neuralgia, although those numbers may be significantly higher due to frequent misdiagnosis. TN usually develops after the age of 50, more commonly in females, although there have been cases with patients being as young as three years of age.
The condition can bring about stabbing, mind-numbing, electric shock-like pain from just a finger’s glance of the cheek. The most common forms of TN affect 1 in 15,000 to 20,000, but 1 in 5,000 are thought to suffer from some type of facial pain.