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Tic Douloureux (cont.)

Exams and Tests

There is no single medical test to diagnose tic douloureux. The diagnosis is made based on the description of the pain, physical examination, and exclusion of other causes of facial pain.

  • The pain of tic douloureux is unique. A history of bursts of shooting pain in one side of the face along with a trigger zone will give the doctor good clues to the cause of your pain.
  • The physical examination is normal in tic douloureux. If numbness, decreased hearing, dizziness, visual changes, or dysfunction of the muscles of the face is found, then other disorders may be considered. Additionally, other causes of facial pain such as a sinus infection, dental infection, or a jaw disorder, such as TMJ, can often be found by physical examination.
  • Special x-ray images, such as a CT scan or MRI of the head, can look for other causes of facial pain. They can also help delineate blood vessels or tumors that might be pressing on the nerve and irritating it.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/16/2014
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Trigeminal Neuralgia »

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also known as tic douloureux, is a pain syndrome recognizable by the patient's history alone.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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