What are the common triggers of trigeminal neuralgia and how to avoid surgery?
Trigeminal neuralgia is a debilitating condition that causes sudden and intense facial pain. It is often referred to as the “suicide disease” due to the severity of its pain. The pain is usually felt in the cheekbone, nose, upper lip, and teeth, but can affect any part of the mouth. Understanding the common triggers and available non-surgical treatments can help ease the stress associated with trigeminal neuralgia.
- Brushing teeth
- Touching the face
- Applying makeup
- Washing the face
Avoidance of Triggers
One of the simplest ways to alleviate pain due to trigeminal neuralgia is to avoid triggers that bring on pain attacks. Paying attention to what triggers your pain can help you minimize it in the future.
Another non-surgical option for treating trigeminal neuralgia is medical therapy. Medications such as antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, and muscle relaxers can help prevent pain attacks. However, not all patients respond to these medications, and their effect tends to decrease over time.
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiation therapy to treat trigeminal neuralgia. It is often used when other treatments have failed to provide relief. However, it is important to note that radiosurgery has the lowest success rate and the highest reoccurrence rate among the treatment options. It is reserved for older patients with comorbidities and is not suitable for surgery.
It is important to remember that trigeminal neuralgia treatment is highly individualized and what works for one person may not work for another. If you are experiencing severe and prolonged facial pain, it is best to consult a neurosurgeon to determine the best course of action for you.