Facial Pain and Hemifacial Spasm Conditions
The most common in a family of disorders, trigeminal neuralgia is caused by spontaneous, nontraumatic injury to a cranial nerve. Patients often report sharp, piercing pain in the ophthalmic, mandibular and maxillary areas of the face. It is one of the most painful conditions known, with recurring pain lasting a few seconds or minutes. It is often precipitated by specific trigger zones or actions and is limited to one side of the face.
Characterized by extreme pain in the back of the throat, tongue or ear, glossopharyngeal neuralgia is characterized by sudden, recurring pain that lasts a few seconds or minutes. It is described as sharp, stabbing and electrical in nature. Eating or swallowing often triggers the pain, which is limited to one side of the face.
Hemifacial spasm is a disabling disorder, where one side of the face twitches uncontrollably, occurring suddenly, either episodically or nearly continuously. Twitching often starts around the eye and then begins to involve the area around the mouth. The disorder is limited to one side of the face, and there is no weakness of the face or facial muscles.