Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

8 Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia You Should to Know

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disease that causes constant pain. The trigeminal nerve sends pain signals from your face to your brain. It causes extreme, sporadic pain in one or more parts of the face. The pain is often described as stabbing, electric shock-like, burning, or sharp in quality. While trigeminal neuralgia isn’t life-threatening, it can significantly impact your quality of life. Knowing the signs and symptoms is critical to getting an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Here are eight common symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia to be aware of:  

Signs and Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Intense, stabbing facial pain

Intense, stabbing facial pain is the hallmark of trigeminal neuralgia. The facial pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes per episode. It feels like a severe electric shock or a stabbing/burning sensation and can be triggered by even mild stimulation of the face. The pain follows the sensory distribution of the trigeminal nerve and is usually one-sided. 

Pain triggered by facial movements or touch

Everyday activities like brushing teeth, washing the face, applying makeup, shaving, chewing, speaking, or even a light breeze can trigger sudden, excruciating pain in the face. The painful area may spasm when touched even lightly.  

Pain-free intervals between episodes

Trigeminal neuralgia involves sudden, shock-like pains followed by pain-free remissions. The patient may get multiple attacks per day but have periods of complete remission that can last weeks, months, or even years. Time shortens remissions. 

Affected areas of the face

The pain typically affects one side at a time, either the right or the left. It can involve one or more trigeminal nerve branches in the face, most often the maxillary (upper jaw/cheek) and mandibular (lower jaw) divisions.  

Trigger zones on the face

Many patients have specific spots on their face that, when touched or stimulated, elicit a jolt of pain. Common trigger points are along the nose, lips, chin, cheek, or outer ear. Light stimulation of these areas provokes an episode of pain. 

No numbness

Trigeminal neuralgia pain usually comes and goes and does not produce numbness in the face. However, some patients may experience mild numbing or tingling after a severe facial pain episode. 

Age of onset

rigeminal neuralgia more commonly affects people over age 50, although it can occur at any age. There tend to be two peak ages of onset – between 50 and 60 and over 70 years old. 

History of vascular disease

Patients who have trigeminal neuralgia tend to have a history of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions that affect blood vessels. This suggests blood vessels play a role in the state. 


In Conclusion, facial pain that comes on suddenly in short episodes is triggered by touch, involves one side of the face at a time, and causes no numbness, which is likely trigeminal neuralgia pain. If you experience these symptoms, consult a doctor right away. Proper treatment can help manage this debilitating facial pain disorder. Catching it early is vital to preserving the quality of life. 


Dr. Arun Rajeswaran

Consult Dr. Arun with a professional experience of more than 13 years in the field of Neurosurgery

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