The Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia in Younger Patients
Trigeminal neuralgia is a neurological condition that causes intense facial pain or burning sensations. While trigeminal neuralgia can occur at any age, it is most common in people over 50 years of age or older. Women tend to suffer from trigeminal neuralgia more than men.
But what if you are a younger than 50 years old and experiencing these symptoms? Can trigeminal neuralgia occur in younger patients? If so, what are the common causes of trigeminal neuralgia and what can you do to start treating it if you have facial pain due to trigeminal neuralgia?
What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that causes extreme pain or muscle spasms in one side of your face. Common symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include:
- Pain in one side of your face, jaw or ear
- Muscle spasms in your jaw
- Sharp, electric-like shots of pain in your face
- Burning or tingling sensations in your face
- Pain or ache in your teeth or ear
If you have any of these symptoms — at any age — you should visit your doctor right away to get an accurate diagnosis and start treating your symptoms right away.
The causes of trigeminal neuralgia can vary, so your doctor can perform special tests — like an MRI or CT scan — to rule out certain conditions that cause facial pain and to accurately diagnose your trigeminal neuralgia.
You have two trigeminal nerves — one on either side of your face. Typically, one of your nerves becomes irritated with trigeminal neuralgia, so your symptoms will most often be felt only on one side of your face.