So You’ve Been Diagnosed With Trigeminal Neuralgia, Now What?
Hearing that you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition can be incredibly overwhelming, and it’s easy to wonder exactly what to expect next. What are the treatment options available? How long will this last? Is there a cure? It’s understandable to be nervous when you’re not sure what comes next. To help ease some of that anxiety, read this quick guide about what to expect when you’ve been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia.
What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia, or tic douloureux, is a chronic pain condition that affects the fifth cranial nerve. This is one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head, connecting portions of the face and oral cavity to the brain. This condition is a form of neuropathic pain, meaning that it is related to a nerve injury or nerve lesion.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic condition, meaning that it can cause nerve pain over the course of years. Sometimes this develops in childhood, but most commonly will develop in later years. Because it is a chronic condition, there are currently no existing cures; however, there are several forms of treatment for trigeminal neuralgia.
Treatment For Trigeminal Neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia treatment options vary depending on the severity of your condition and your own personal preference. Your doctor may prescribe medications to assist in pain relief; if you have been prescribed medication, be sure to take it as directed. There are also several surgical procedures available, but many may consider this too invasive and seek out another alternative.
Ultrasound therapy is also available for treating the pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia. Ultrasound therapy for pain relief focuses beams of ultrasound energy on targets deep in the brain, without damaging surrounding tissue. This can eliminate the need for surgery, acting as a non-invasive alternative. Ultrasound therapy also can be repeated if more treatment sessions are needed to relieve pain.
If you have been recently diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, talk to your doctor about what treatment options may be available to you. Your doctor will be able to work with you to determine the best course of action for managing your trigeminal neuralgia pain, and help you manage this chronic condition. Regardless of the treatment option you choose, know that you are not alone, and many people live healthy and productive lives after their trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis.