What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

By Mary E. Hart

If you had asked me two years ago what Trigeminal Neuralgia was, I wouldn’t have had a clue. However, I now do know what it is as a dear friend suffers from this disorder, so I know about it from what she has told me.

Today is International Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day, so we are working to spread the information. This facial disorder affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries signals and sensations from your brain to your face. Typically, it is triggered when a blood vessel pushes on the nerve. In my friend’s case, it occurred after she was involved in a car accident.

12 out of 100,000 people are affected by Trigeminal Neuralgia in a year, making it quite uncommon. But for those who are affected by it, they know all too well about the blinding pain that strikes their cheek, mouth or any part of the face, which can last from a second to 15 minutes or longer. The moments of searing pain could be just once a day or multiple times a day and can be set off by something as light as an outside breeze or taking a bite of something.

The pain can be so debilitating that it causes people to have to resign from their jobs, as they’re unable to commute to a job while knowing that the pain could set in at any moment, or if they have to wear headphones as part of their position.

If you or someone you love has Trigeminal Neuralgia and wants to return to the workforce in an at-home position, the National Telecommuting Institute (NTI) may be able to help with placement in such a position.

Treatments for Trigeminal Neuralgia typically start out with drugs to suppress pain and some physical/occupational therapy for nerve desensitization. Working with your doctor to find the right treatment is a must. Pain suppression drugs frequently do help quite a bit, but if they fail to work, surgery is also an option.

BIO: Mary E. Hart is the Digital Communications Specialist for NTI. She is also a freelance writer, editor and content strategist, specializing in writing copy that will help you reach the right people at the right time. Previously, she worked in Demand Generation marketing for UBM Tech and Ziff Davis Enterprise. In her spare time, Mary is working on the next great ghost novel.


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