Childhood Trigeminal Neuralgia: What to Know
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is one of the most painful conditions known in medicine today. Affecting the trigeminal nerve, TN is a chronic pain condition that causes episodes of extreme pain in the facial area. There are a few known causes of this condition but unfortunately, trigeminal neuralgia treatment options are limited. And while TN generally appears in people over the age of 50, it can occur in children. So let’s take a look at a few key points to know about childhood trigeminal neuralgia.
Childhood TN can be more difficult to diagnose: One of the key differences between TN in children and in adults is the ability to explain the pain they’re experiencing. In adults, they can usually clearly explain their pain, where it originates from, and how often they experience it. Unfortunately, children may not always be able to do this. Because of this, doctors and parents have to work together to diagnose the condition. Children with TN generally avoid touching their face but are fine between episodes of pain. Parents often monitor their children and discuss symptoms and episodes with their child’s doctor to come to a conclusion.
Surgery may be the answer: When it comes to finding trigeminal neuralgia pain relief, surgery is generally suggested for children. If the cause of TN is known and damage to the trigeminal nerve can be repaired, then a child’s doctor may recommend surgery. However, it’s important to find a surgeon with ample experience. Working with a surgeon who has experience with fixing nerve pain is key to ensuring the condition is treated as best as possible.
There are a few treatment options to try: Fortunately, trigeminal neuralgia treatment options include more than just surgery. Most doctors try to avoid high doses of medications, although they may be necessary in some cases. But an increasingly popular treatment option for TN is ultrasound therapy. Ultrasound has been used for therapy since the 1940s and continues to be used effectively. Using ultrasound waves, technicians can actually promote healing at the base of the damaged nerve and alleviate pain. This is a non-invasive procedure with very minimal adverse effects.
Trigeminal neuralgia is rare in children but when it occurs, it’s important to address the condition as soon as possible. Hopefully, this article shed some light on this condition and how the pain can be alleviated.