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Trigeminal Neuralgia (Facial Nerve Pain)

Question:

What treatments were effective for your trigeminal neuralgia? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Mish, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

Acupuncture and no medication has 3 times taken away my trigeminal neuralgia attacks. When I get the symptoms (electric shock pain in ear, jaw and head, and constant pain- sometimes I have both) I go to acupuncture and it works for me, thankfully. I don't know how or why, just that it goes away. Last attack was 3 weeks ago, time before that was 2 years ago. I hope I get another 2 years pain free this time.

Comment from: TripleTea, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

When my general physician first diagnosed trigeminal neuralgia she gave me amitriptyline. I had to up the dose every time because it was never enough. Now it's still not enough and I've now been given gabapentin 900 mg a day, and I'm still in pain. It keeps me up at night, makes eating and drinking hard. It makes work terrible and my days off are awful because I can't relax. My doctor has told me that I'm very unlucky with it. I'm only 26 so it's very uncommon in people my age so yeah, unlucky indeed; seems to be my middle name!

Comment from: Glad, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) about a year ago. I haven't had an MRI yet as I'm too scared to get in the machine. I was given carbamazepine for the pain and have had that increased. However, the pain seems to be winning. It is also progressing to others areas such as my ear and the back of my neck. It is very difficult to live with as I never feel good. Maybe it's time to get in that MRI!

Comment from: Sabs, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 03

When I was 12 we went on a family holiday. On the plane landing my head exploded with pain. After that it would happen frequently to the point I would pass out from pain. I went for EEGs and they diagnosed me with epilepsy, as there was too much activity in the brain, but I never had a seizure. When I was 25 I was told by doctors that it was trigeminal neuralgia, and to basically take Tegretol which I refused as they made me ill. I'm now 40 and still suffer badly.

Comment from: Nancy S, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 27

About 18 years ago my trigeminal neuralgia began with pain in my right eye. It felt like someone was pressing down very hard in the crease of my eyelid. I went to a neurologist who said there was nothing wrong and pretty much told me it was in my head! I then went to an ophthalmologist who couldn't diagnose me. Then I went to an eye care specialty hospital and, again, they found nothing. Over the course of several months the pain moved to my right temple then to the top of my head. I worked full time and cried on the way to work and on the way home. At times I closed myself in the conference room to cry some more. The only temporary relief was to alternate cold with heat. I spent most of my time curled up on the couch with an ice bag and heating pad; and a box of tissues. The pain was so intense it felt like someone took a large nail and hammered it into the top of my skull. I saw my primary care doctor and he told me that it could very well be trigeminal neuralgia and referred me to a different neurologist. He confirmed it then prescribed an anti-seizure drug, Trileptal. It helped for about a week. That was the pattern for several months, constantly increasing the dosage till I began getting sick from the medication. My neurologist then suggested a surgical procedure called gamma knife where they zap the nerve with radiation. I was petrified! So many people suggested I try acupuncture. I was desperate so I gave it a try. I couldn't believe it worked! I believe I started out going every other day for 2 weeks then it was spaced out until I had 10 treatments. After the 2nd treatment, I could tell it was doing something. Every treatment the pain lessened. By the 5th treatment the pain was completely gone. I talked to my neurologist and was told to always keep a low dose of the Trileptal in my system because it will come back. It does act up a few times a year, but ever so slightly. I still have sensitivity on top of my head almost all the time but only to the touch. You can't even feel the acupuncture needles (except the one in my eyebrow), but nothing is as painful as trigeminal neuralgia!

Comment from: philme, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 06

Trigeminal neuralgia is the worst pain ever! Not even my wife believed me. She thought I was acting when it hit me, and it would just about drop me to the floor. Pain medicines worked for a while but never lasted. I would be dopy all day. Doctor said I had classic case of trigeminal neuralgia and suggested microvascular decompression surgery when medicines stopped working. I have been pain free since. I would suggest looking into it.

Comment from: Annie M., 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

Approximately 10 years ago, I began experiencing an annoying nerve pain on the right side of my face where I had recently had a tooth pulled. Unfortunately, because of the coincidence of having the tooth extracted, I began a merry-go-round of seeing different specialists who misdiagnosed my facial nerve pain, blaming my pain on dental problems. I saw dentists, oral surgeons, ENTs (I even had a sinus procedure to rule out sinus problems), pain management clinics (I don't tolerate drugs at all, so this was a waste of time), acupuncturist, and a chiropractor. Meanwhile, my pain became intolerable at times. It was constant, a burning sensation that I liken to a burning poker being shoved up my nostril. I was irritable and felt that this situation was hopeless. I could no longer go out to dinner or enjoy family and friends later in the afternoons and evenings as this was when the excruciating pain was at its worst. I went to a neurologist and he told me he suspected trigeminal neuralgia (TN). He then prescribed various medicines, none of which solved the problem. Besides not working, I had bad reactions to the medicines. I also did not want to be on medication for the rest of my life, I wanted to stamp out this pain permanently. I visited 3 neurosurgeons, all of whom did not want to take on my case as they were still suspicious about the pulled tooth, and I, of all things, discovered that when I chewed gum, it lessened the pain considerably. They said that cure was the opposite of TN, that chewing made the condition worse. I finally found a neurosurgeon who believed me. He performed an operation on me, microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia. It was performed under general anesthesia and I was in the hospital of 3 days. I have not had any pain at all! I am overjoyed and feel as if I have my life back. I assume that everybody reading this has had his or her share of suffering with this hard-to-diagnose disease. After all you have learned after reading about TN and its painful symptoms, you most likely have it, even though some of your symptoms may be a bit off. You need a good surgeon who will believe you and take the necessary steps to rid yourself of this horror. Good luck to you all, I know how rough the road is.

Comment from: Rob , 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 06

Like many I thought I had a severe tooth ache. My dentist, after taking x-ray of the left upper tooth said he couldn't find a problem but took a full head x-ray, still no joy. He diagnosed trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and told me sometimes it is triggered by eating on one side. He suggested my bite was uneven and ground some teeth to take off high spots. It's now been 4 days since this procedure and although I still have some pain it's considerably better. I really don't write comments however if this helps another to alleviate the pain I though it worth doing.

Comment from: Pam, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

At age 15 I had a head on collision. I was knocked out. I woke, walked home, and talked to friends. I was rushed to hospital with a fractured cheekbone, eyelid ripped off and broken nose. It took months of recovery and eye patches. But I've never been the same. Now at 56 I'm having severe headaches, nose pain, excruciating eye pain, and ear, neck and jaw pain from trigeminal neuralgia. My headaches lasted 4 days, now it's every day.

Comment from: Kefa1259, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 22

My story is similar to everyone else here. Thought I had a tooth infection and ended up being trigeminal neuralgia. It has been a nightmare. I tried medicines for a while but side effects were really bad and I couldn't work or drive. I found a device made in Israel called the PainShield by NanoVibronix and it has made a huge difference for me, whenever I stick to the treatments, that is. I have a small business and I just can't deal with the side effects of the pills. So I'm trying my best to keep up with the treatments.

Comment from: Lexi, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 08

I am seventy four years old and have suffered from trigeminal neuralgia pains for at least six years and from low back pain for the last eighteen months. On Friday, 12 May, 2017 during a remission period from the pains of trigeminal neuralgia I arranged a TAMARS (technology assisted mobilization and reflex simulation) appointment focusing on low back pain. During the hour-long treatment session the therapist manipulated the entire length of my spine. At times the pain was quite intense and when he concentrated pressure on the top section of my spine in the nape of my neck/base of my skull area I had to grind my teeth to cope with the severe pain. About twenty four hours after completion of the TAMARS manipulation I suddenly felt the return of dreaded trigeminal neuralgia pains in my right jaw. These pains remained for approximately two days and then ceased completely. During that two day period I had no pains whatever in my left jaw. Previous to the TAMARS treatment for about six years my trigeminal neuralgia pains had been exclusively embedded in the left side of my face. Three months later as I write this brief description of my experience I have not had any pains whatsoever in either side of my face following cessation of the pains in my right jaw. I am convinced that the TAMARS treatment initiated, albeit transiently, severe trigeminal neuralgia pains in my right jaw.

Comment from: Susie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I have had atypical trigeminal neuralgia for 18 years! I have tried surgery, gamma knife, acupuncture, facial and cranial work, massage, medicines, etc. Last Saturday I began using legal CBD oil twice a day. It has brought some desperately awaited relief. I take it with my Tegretol and Vicodin and hope to wean myself off those medications soon. The CBD oil is used twice a day and has no side effects. It is legal in Ohio and Michigan and I am thankful beyond words to finally have more relief and hope.

Comment from: Sandy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 21

I have had trigeminal neuralgia (TN) now for around 2 years and have been put on Tegretol. I have been taking one 200 mg tablet each morning and had no problem for over a year. However, 10 days back I started getting shocks and couldn't eat, clean my teeth or even drink unless very slowly and only on my left side. So I upped the dose to 2 times 200mg and they stopped. As 2 other people I know have TN and use Lyrica, I asked my doctor if I should change and he said Tegretol is better.

Comment from: Mandy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I had been suffering excruciating trigeminal neuralgia (TN) attacks for almost 8 years and I tried anti-seizure medicines, painkillers, and steroids with no respite apart from the temporary subsiding of pain. Desperate to find relief, I even contemplated surgery, however my fear of going under the knife made me opt for natural supplements, although being skeptical about natural medicines in general. I started googling about other alternative treatments and chanced upon Biogetica last year. It is an online medical portal that deals with Ayurvedic and homeopathic remedies. I contacted them through their doctors' helpline and started using their Freedom Kit with OM13 TNeuralgease Formula. The results have by far been the best I can boast of. The pain stopped just within 3 weeks of using the remedies and I have been pain free for the past 7 months now. Thank goodness, the nightmare has ended!

Comment from: motownkid68, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 20

My father at 74 suffered from trigeminal neuralgia and it had been going on for at least the last two years. Well, today (10-14-2015) he had surgery. I am so happy to say that he now is feeling 100 percent better; really, as he found a doctor that specializes in this procedure, and he's satisfied with the results. He is not so happy about them shaving his head on the left side and going in behind the ear with a 4 inch stitch but he is fixed.

Comment from: PAY, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 23

Trigeminal neuralgia has hit me three times in the last 3 years. I used over the counter Orajel and packed my jaw with a gauze to hold the Orajel in place. It helped a lot!

Comment from: silvergal, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 09

My left eye runs all the time, and I have pain in upper and left jaw from trigeminal neuralgia. I went to the dentist but the medicine he gave me does not take it away. It feels like nails in my jaw. I cannot eat hot food. I have my upper and lower plates. It feels like sharp needles in the jaw. I am going to the dentist tomorrow. The pain is so sharp, I need help.

Comment from: kml, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I've had TN for 5 years. It's bad. I was put on Lyrica, I took 9 pills. Did nothing for me. Now I'm on Carbamazipine and now take 7 1/2 - 200 mg. They make me drowsy and dizzy. So far no pain. I go for a MRI soon. I sure hope they can do something for me. Attacks are bad. I don't eat or move for 3 days. Last attack was end of May and now end of August.

Comment from: ham radio, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 31

About 5 years ago, I had my first bout with TN. My dentist did not help. The neurologist gave me a medication that was totally bad - side effects. I would not subject myself to these horrors. I learned how to relax my jaw. When I did it right the relief was IMMEDIATE. During the 2nd visit to the neurologist, she told me that was the only way to do it, but most people did not take the time to try it. They wanted a 'pill' to take the pain away. Since then, I have had only 5-6 episodes lasting less than 10 minutes. When it happens, think about what is stressing you out. Go in the bathroom and lean forward and let the jaw relax.

Comment from: Sandy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 12

Exactly one year ago I suddenly was struck one day, completely out of the blue, with horrible pain in my face. I also thought that I had sinus infection and went to the doctor and dentist for about a month with no relief in sight. I would have an attach that lasted for 48 hours and then would start to subside only to break out with the horrible pain immediately again. I finally went to another doctor who saw me while I was having a painful attack. They immediately diagnosed me with trigeminal neuralgia and gave me carbamazepine @ 100 mg with two, twice a day. I did have dizziness and the sensation that I could not completely control how I was walking without tripping. But, within 48 hours I was free of pain. I have only had two or three flair ups during the last year and it appears that they may have stopped completely. I now take only one 100 mg a day.

Comment from: Emily, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

I was diagnosed with TN about 2 years ago when I was 12-13 in both sides of my face. I was put on carbamazapine, started on a low dose but was on 1600mg a day after about three weeks. It worked for about 6 months and then the pain started to come back. I also suffered from bad side effects such as horrific hallucinations and depression. My GP decided to put me on the slow release version as he thought it would help. The hallucinations and depression just got worse and I was like a completely different person. I came off the tablets and started to have complimentary therapy (Reiki). 18 months down the line and I haven't been on any other tablets and I only get pain from time to time.

Comment from: Lisa, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 30

After suffering years of unexplained facial and dental pain, I decided to see my doctor as I couldn't face any more trips to the dentist. I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and given carbamazepine. I had tried various pain relief options without any success, thinking it was dental problems I was having. It's still in the early days of the treatment, but I feel that at last something is working to help with the agonizing pain. I have only been on the treatment four days and the results are amazing although there is still some tenderness. I don't quite know what to make of pain-free teeth! My fingers are crossed that the medication works long-term.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

I was diagnosed with this disease about 5 years ago and it still flares up about twice a month. I am on amitryptaline because nothing else worked for me. I was hospitalized and given morphine which did nothing but make me sicker. It's a horrible thing to have and hopefully someday they will find a cure.

Comment from: hooch, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I was diagnosed 10 years ago after being treated multiple times for ear infections and TMJ. I did not respond effectively from anti-seizure meds and finally saw a neurosurgeon. Eventually he performed a "nerve block". I will tell you this procedure was incredible painful but 10 years later I am still pain free.

Comment from: Theresa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 30

Glad to find a website that has some positive results on this since there does not seem to be a whole lot of answers. I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia a few years ago and was put on Cymbalta which also worked for me (I saw another writer had good results with a similar med) However, last year I broke my knee and the trigeminal neuralgia came back very bad and I was put on lyrica which did take the pain away after about 2 months but also had side effects that made me go off ( I was on a very high dose). Got a few "sparks" after going off but it has now been 5 months of just the cymbalta and thankfully all has been good.

Comment from: Rob, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 04

Eight years ago I was diagnosed with lupus and was told by my doctors there was no cure, and they put me on 20 prednisone pills per day to start with and eventually dropping to one pill 3 times a day and also Degranol one daily. To counteract the effects of the prednisone I had to take Caltrate pills because of the effects on the joints and the bone structure. I now have a problem where my face, jaw, and upper left side of my head have these shock spasms that are unbelievably painful. I can't eat, talk, swallow, or brush my teeth without excruciating pain which takes forever to subside. After reading all the comments in this article I cannot see any way forward with this disease I really give my best wishes to all who are living with trigeminal neuralgia.

Comment from: Trigeminal, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 31

I had cushion put into my lump and nerves in my head in 2009, but my pain hast not stopped at all. I do not know what to do.

Comment from: Grace, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I have been on many meds and had different results for each. Each patient is different so I say allow an experienced doctor to treat you. I have had several ablations for trigeminal neuralgia.

Comment from: tena, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 03

I wish I had this information and support available when I first had my facial pain in 1986. I went through many dentists and doctors before being diagnosed with TN. I also had many horrible experiences and finally in 1994, I had surgery. I had remained pain free until 2014 when I started to feel the exact symptoms again. I wonder if it is possible for the TN to recur after being pain free for so many years. I have read many of the shared stories and will try to relax my jaws.

Comment from: I hurt, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia 11 years ago, and up until now, it's been under good control with the use of topiramate 50mg 3 times daily, Cymbalta 60mg daily, clonazepam 1mg at bedtime, and orphenadrine, a muscle relaxer. I also suffer from Fibromyalgia, which was diagnosed 15 years ago.

Comment from: Carm, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I had an intense pain from my ear to just below my eye. At the same time I noticed my eye looked smaller and the pupil wasn't reacting as quickly as the other one. I've been to dentists, oral surgeons, eye doctors, neurologists, neuroophthalmologists and had every test in the book done. So far they cannot figure out the reason.

Comment from: Dirac, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 09

I have suffered with TN most of my life. The attacks are sporadic. Massive uses of Darvocet were the only pain reducing med. Since Darvocet has been discontinued, my doctor has put me on Lyrica and Percoset. The Percoset will not kill the pain, but the Lyrica will dull the pain if taken at the onset of an attack. I have had TN since I was a child. I have gone several years between attacks, but as I get older the attacks occur more often.

Comment from: Widad, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 05

I've been suffering from these symptoms for two months now. The pain is constant. I can't sleep, eat, or talk, or even smile. I've been to the dentist about eight times. They say can't find anything.

Comment from: Carol, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 04

I was diagnosed with TN about five years ago. After about four months it went away. It came back in my teeth about two years ago. At first I thought it was a sinus infection, then I thought it was my teeth. I went to two doctors who said nothing was wrong. It is worst in the morning when I wake up.

Comment from: Sharonov, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

Carbamazepine (tegretol) usually works for me. I take two 200mg pills every day and when I have a flare up I take up to six pills a day. Luckily the flare ups don't happen often. I'm considering gamma knife, but I'm on one yahoo group site where a couple of people had this done and their TN became worse. It's so hard to know what to do, since no treatment is guaranteed to be effective. The MVD can potentially leave you with a painfully numb face and might only give a few years relief. There's no way to know.

Comment from: trish in Phila pa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I started about five years ago with pain. I tried medications but couldn't stand all the side effects so I decided to have gamma knife and I was pain free for three full years. But now the nerve has regenerated so I am looking into having it done again because it worked like a miracle!

Comment from: Patricia, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 10

I am a 59 year old female. In 2002 I developed facial pain that was unbearable. I had oral surgery but I got no relief I suffered for 6 months being misdiagnosed. Finally an emergency room doctor diagnosed me and I went on meds that did not work eventually I had surgery in 2003. I got instant relief, and now I get pain occasionally and Dilantin provides relief. It's the worst pain I've ever had in my life.

Comment from: godschoice, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

I have had TN for a year. I spend so much time out of work for the pain. I am on high doses Trilepital and Lyrica. I have gained so much weight because of the steroids, which causes me to be depressed. I still have the episodes of pain, but not as bad as the first three months when I was diagnosed. I try to avoid any stress because it causes me pain. If I get a sinus infection it causes the nerve to act up. Really considering surgery, so I can get on with my life.

Comment from: Arlene, 65-74 Female Published: April 02

I am 69 years old and have had trigeminal neuralgia since I was 17. This occurs when I get a draft in my right ear, even from lightly blowing wind. I try to avoid any drafts, but sometimes I unexpectedly get a draft - when this occurs my whole right side, my head, my mouth, my teeth, my ear, my neck and my shoulder are in severe pain. This generally lasts a couple of weeks.

Comment from: grandma, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I thought I had a toothache, but went and had it check out was told my teeth were in great shape, but maybe my very old wisdom tooth could be the problem, so I had it removed. It didn't work and I lost a perfectly good tooth for nothing. I'm on high doses of pain meds to help with the pain, but it is still there. My dentist wants to cut the nerve but I hear that rarely solves the problem. I've been in constant pain for over two weeks.

Comment from: zoey, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 29

I have had erratic earaches for past three months and thought nothing of same, sometimes my eyes would be bloodshot; for the past 6 weeks I have been experiencing chronic headaches, sometimes watery or bloodshot eyes, pain on my nape, my ears, also irritable throat with mucus, and loud noises or music made this worse. My doctor gave injection, and painkillers.

Comment from: corinne mac donald, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 17

I was diagnosed with TN about 15 years ago. My attacks are triggered once a year for about 6 weeks until the drugs (cabanazepine) work and become pain free. I remain on the tablets of 600mg for about 3 months and I'm pain free for the rest of about 9 months.

Comment from: Gabi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

I am a 59 year old woman with TN. After a root canal on my lower left molar (a three and a half hour procedure) I began feeling as if I had tight braces on my upper teeth. Some time later, I started having sharp pain in my upper and lower left teeth. What a nightmare!! My neurologist started me on Neurontin and this seems to have eased the pain. I also see a chiropractor which I'm sure this has added to my treatment.

Comment from: abcd, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 08

I have been to a neurologist and he tried a couple of the anti seizure meds on me. My attacks usually happened about three times a year and are triggered by cold weather. I found that a heating pad works well.

Comment from: Fi, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I am on 600mg Tegretol & 900mg of Neurontin. I am finding these medications make me very drowsy & I cannot function at anything near a normal level. I have had a lot of time off work and it is consuming my life. I hope I find relief as some of you have otherwise surgery is looking good!

Comment from: Dorothy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I started having TN in 2008. I went to the Dentist to make sure my dentures were ok. The pain was so bad that I would dig the area with my nails. I was told by my neurologist that I had TN the first part of 2009 on both sides of my jaw line. In June 2009 I had a brain decompression where the surgeon removed a piece of my skull and replaced with a piece of synthetic fabric in hopes of relieving the pressure on the base of the nerve (this did not help). I have been on all the medication that is used for this problem.

Comment from: Hek, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

Muscle relaxers and a chiropractor did the trick for me.

Comment from: Dawn, 55-64 Female Published: February 14

I was recently diagnosed with TN while on holiday in Singapore. It started out of the blue. I thought I had severe sinusitis or an abscess on back lower tooth. Pain killers do nothing for this awful condition. My face was very tender to the touch. Then unbelievably the chronic pain switches off, like turning of a light switch. I was put on a medication which helped the pain, but I'm terrified the pain will return. I've never experienced anything like it.

Comment from: TNSufferer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I too am a TN sufferer. I was diagnosed with it about 2 years ago. These things I know are true....the pain is beyond description, whether you're having an attack or not it can control your life (afraid to go out in case you have an attack in public), medication can help at least reduce the number of attacks (for me), delay of pain treatment can cause the pain to get out of control making it harder to get relief. My tips for prolonged attacks are as follows... 1. I apply ice to the nerve area 2. I take my pain meds as prescribed by my physician 3. My TN affects my jaw/teeth area. I have found that if I apply Anbesol to me teeth I can get a huge relief for a period of time. 4. Also, I never travel without these items as I had a very bad episode while on a business trip requiring me to wake up an associate at 3:00 am for a trip to the drugstore for a cold pack and Anbesol. 5. Have somebody accompany you to the dentist in case the dental work triggers an attack. I am very fortunate to work for a company/manager who understands this medical condition and allows me to work at home when needed. What I have found is during prolonged attacks, my face pain may eventually go away but the next day or so I am completely exhausted from dealing with the severe pain and I am vulnerable to follow up attacks.

Comment from: PW55, 55-64 Male Published: December 15

I have had trigeminal neuralgia (TN) for almost five years. I use pharmaceutical drugs only as a last resort. I use natural methods of controlling TN. I've found several that help: fasting, controlling fat intake (helpful also in multiple sclerosis [MS]), applying Tiger Balm or capsaicin cream to the areas of pain, Sinus Buster nasal spray (which somehow cuts the pain feedback loop/interrupts it), plenty of sleep, and exercise, along with protective gear when I go outdoors in the cold or wind.

Comment from: stevie, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 06

I just recently started having TN facial pain. One of the most painful things I've ever experienced, and comes on so suddenly. I have found that wet rags heated in the microwave, or in hot water, then applied to the area of pain does really help.

Comment from: Lea, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 24

I have been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. My doctor wasn't sure at first, but the symptoms were classic. She prescribed gabapentin, and it is helping. I went to see my neurologist yesterday, and it was confirmed. He is tweaking my medication to aid in longer relief.

Comment from: Starry, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I have been suffering from misdiagnosed trigeminal neuralgia for the past six years. Not one of my dentists, periodontists, endodontists, or oral surgeons could "see" anything...the oral surgeon even took a biopsy to see if I had Sjrogen's disease (it was negative). It was a miracle that I needed to see a Pain Management physician for lower back pain. I mentioned my jaw issue, and after a few minutes of tests, he immediately diagnosed my neuralgia. After two injections of steroids with numbing agents (one time under Propofol), there is no relief yet. I am being referred to a UCLA neurosurgeon, and after reading comments on this site, I am very encouraged and excited to make progress.

Comment from: rstrat1995, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 30

Had TN in 1998. I had TN in all 3 branches of the nerve. After trying all medications available then I decided on an MVD due to its record at that time as most successful and longest acting. I was in luck. No pain, no medication since then and a talented neurosurgeon. I was 71 at that time, 83 now. It was a miracle. J. Stratton, Greensboro NC

Comment from: Shingled, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 26

Ask your healthcare professionals about shingles (varicella zoster). It is said that T3, T4, and the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve are the areas most commonly affected. It sounds like some people may be experiencing PHN (postherpetic neuralgia).

Comment from: Mandz, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 08

One Monday morning I woke up with a pain and thought it was a painful toothache, went to the dentist and still the pain could not go away. I thought it was a headache and was rushed to hospital. On the 3rd day my doctor discovered that I have trigeminal neuralgia.

Published: May 17

Suffers, please research Gamma Knife radiological surgery. It can help eliminate the pain.

Comment from: Barbara, 55-64 Female Published: May 07

I have had this condition for about ten years now. I used the anti-epilepsy drug, carbamazine for a while. It worked well, but it made me sleepy. Then I started on the antidepressant, Effexor. It has helped me very well and I haven't had the pain in years. I hope this can help someone.

Comment from: Mack, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 07

I have a recurring pain in the right side of my nose that radiates to include the area around my right eye. After seeing various specialists and having a CAT scan, MRI, and various blood tests, and taking an anti-seizure medication prescribed by a neurologist, I still have the pain, and it comes and goes. Resorting to self-treatment, I found one thing that mitigates the pain: the cold sore salve, Carmex. I take a cotton swab, place some Carmex on it, and apply it to the highest areas it will reach inside my right nostril. It helps! I hope this helps at least some co-sufferers.

Comment from: Susanne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 23

2 years ago while visiting my children in NY, I was experiencing yet another bout of (so I thought)severe sinus infection. It was excruciating! I went to the ER and begged the doctor not to touch my face. I had an MRI and x-rays. He said the good news is, it's not a tumor. Here, I'm still under the impression it's another sinus infection! He said I had TN. He put me on 2 meds. The one caused me to go nuts! (Really I swear I could see and feel things crawling all over me.) I got rid of that med quick! The pain med was, Hydrocodone. It worked. The pain mercifully stopped. I haven't had any pain since. Thank Goodness! But I have had some sharp stabs of pain every now and then. So, all these wee bits of help, advice and wisdom I will certainly heed.

Comment from: Bonito1, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 29

I have had TN for a month now and I am a 36 year old woman. My doctor prescribed me Lyrica and I am on a low dose - 300mg a day. I have been pleased in reading these reviews as I thought that there was no hope for this horrible condition. I have ringing in my ears and prickly headaches now and have just been referred to a neurologist. I have an MRI scan tomorrow and have changed my diet completely. I find noise difficult to deal with in the evening still. I hope that this review finds you in a pain free time. Keep positive! Positive thinking and having a wonderful family and friend base has kept me sane.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 12

I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia 9 years ago. The pain just was jabs of severe pain in the lower teeth and jaw area. My meds were carbamazepine, baclofen and lyrica. They were increased over the years as the pain became more frequent. Last year I had the MVD surgery and have been pain free since waking up from the surgery.

Comment from: Roseann, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 23

This article on trigeminal neuralga is great. I have been suffering with this for over 10 years and only found out recently what it is. I have been to several oral surgeons, doctors, emergency rooms, and doctors and no one wants to help. I do have a new doctor.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCE:

"Trigeminal neuralgia"
UpToDate.com

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