Tic Douloureux (cont.)
Tic Douloureux Symptoms
The main symptom of tic douloureux is a sudden, severe, stabbing, sharp, shooting, electric-shock-like pain on one side of the face. Because the second and third divisions of the trigeminal nerve are the most commonly affected, the pain is usually felt in the lower half of the face.
- The pain comes in intermittent episodes that last from a few seconds to a few minutes. There may be many episodes of pain per day. There is no pain between episodes.
- The flurry of pain episodes may last from a few weeks to a few months, followed by pain-free periods of months to even years. Generally, the episodes become more frequent and more resistant to treatment with medications over time.
- The attacks of pain are often initiated by physical stimulation of a trigger point on the same side of the face as the pain. Trigger points can be anywhere on the face or in the mouth or nose. They are generally not in the same place as the pain. Stimuli that can initiate the pain include talking, eating, brushing the teeth, or even cool air on the face. There is no loss of taste, hearing, or sensation in someone suffering from tic douloureux.
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD