Trigeminal neuralgia (also called tic douloureux) is a chronic pain condition affecting the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for most facial sensation. Usually, trigeminal neuralgia is a sharp, sudden pain on one side of the face. There are various treatment options available, including medications, surgery and injections, to effectively manage trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal Neuralgia: What You Need to Know
Complex neurological conditions are best treated by teams of professionals that span multiple areas of medicine - from neurologists and neurosurgeons, to neuroradiologists and rehabilitation providers. This team approach brings to your care individuals with diverse medical training who are all dedicated to providing you with the most comprehensive treatment possible.
While our staff includes multiple specialists who are nationally renowned for their accomplishments, you will find your caregivers to be approachable and caring. And because neurological conditions often involve unique challenges for patients and their loved ones, we also offer support services personalized to the individual needs of each patient such as counseling, rehabilitation and pain management.
Experienced, Trusted Expertise
At The University of Vermont Medical Center, we have an extensive group of highly skilled experts dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the brain and nervous system. As a university hospital, the care we provide is informed and enhanced by education and research, the latest knowledge and techniques and advanced technology.
What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is chronic facial pain that commonly begins near one side of the mouth, and then shoots toward the ear, eye or nostril on the same side of the face.
The pain may start with a touch, movement, air drafts, brushing teeth, eating or for no known reason. You may have periods of time without trigeminal neuralgia symptoms, called remissions, lasting several months or longer. However, as the condition worsens, the episodes of pain happen more often, remissions become shorter and less common, and a dull ache may remain between the episodes of stabbing pain.
Typically, trigeminal neuralgia affects women in middle and late life. If trigeminal neuralgia happens in young people, often it is caused by multiple sclerosis.
Diagnosis and Treatment: Trigeminal Neuralgia
The UVM Medical Center's physicians are highly trained in performing procedures to diagnose and treat trigeminal neuralgia such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram).