The term Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), has two words within it. The trigeminal nerve is one of the (twelve) cranial (head) nerves which has three divisions (ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular) supplying to the areas of upper eye-lid to the lower chin. Neuralgia means pain. TN is a disorder of the Trigeminal nerve which presents as facial pain and headache. The pain is characteristically severe, intense, sharp, episodic, periodical, excruciating, stabbing and short lasting.
Trigeminal Neuralgia is commonly misspelled as Trigeminal neuralgai, Trigeminla neuralgia, Trigemianl neuralgia, Trigmeinal neuralgia, Trigeminal euralgia. Trigeminal Neuralgia is called as chehare kee naso me dard in Hindi and Tina bhaganta vibhagalela ceta in Marathi.
The diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuralgia is made clinically. In most cases the very description offered by the patients is diagnostic. There is no specific investigation or tests to diagnose Trigeminal Neuralgia. CT scan or an MRI is conducted only if some other pathology (tumor or multiple sclerosis) is suspected in the facial or brain areas which may have presented a confused clinical picture. However, as a rule, every patient with TN may be suggested to get an MRI done to rule out any hidden tumor. It may also be noted that an MRI might suggest a blood vessel touching the Trigeminal nerve, as a cause for TN. However, it may be noted that all patients who have some blood vessel touching the Trigeminal nerve may not develop this disease.
The exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is not clearly understood but there are certain factors that can trigger the onset of trigeminal neuralgia.