There are many different symptoms that can occur with multiple sclerosis, some of them rarer than others. A rarer symptom that can occur in the disease is multiple sclerosis trigeminal neuralgia, which is sudden and severe face pain. MS trigeminal neuralgia is caused by the process of demyelination going on in the body. Demyelination is when the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves gets damaged. Trigeminal neuralgia is also caused by the lesions that form on the brain and spinal cord in the multiple sclerosis. Trigeminal neuralgia is about 400 times more likely to occur in someone with multiple sclerosis, but it can appear in someone without the disease as well.
Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by the sudden onset of pain in the lower facial area, typically around the cheeks, jaw, lips, and mouth. In rare cases, it can extend up to the forehead and around the eyes. The pain is usually only on one side of the face. About four percent of people with multiple sclerosis will experience some form of trigeminal neuralgia throughout the progression of their disease. Each case can last up to several weeks. Sometimes it is triggered by chewing, brushing your teeth, swallowing, or other activities involving the facial muscles. It can also be triggered by loud noises.
Treatment Options for MS Trigeminal Neuralgia
Many people say that trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Luckily, there are a few different types of treatment options that can help. Treating the pain is one of the first things a medical professional will try to do when someone presents with trigeminal neuralgia. Since the pain can vary greatly from person to person, the medication will also vary. It can be an oral medication, an injection, or even an intravenous drip. It depends on the severity. Some people may need to stay in the hospital in order to get the treatment they need on a regular basis for the duration of the attack.
Surgery is another treatment option for people who suffer from this symptom on a fairly regular basis. This can be the best option for those patients who do not respond to pain medications or for those who have serious side effects to the pain medications that are available. The surgery is noninvasive and is done through radiation. Most patients see significant improvement in the amount of pain they experience. If symptoms return or worsen, the surgery can be repeated.