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What is Neuralgia

What is Neuralgia

Neuralgia is nerve pain. It is pain that follows along the same path as a nerve. It is most common in the elderly but can occur at any age. It affects twice as many women as men. It is caused by a number of factors such as an infection, certain drugs, diabetes and anything that puts pressure on the nerves for example, tumour/trauma /surgery.

There are three types of neuralgia; trigeminal, atypical trigeminal and postherpetic neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia causes short, sharp episodes of pain in the face and neck. It usually affects one side of the face and is often described as a stabbing or burning pain. Atypical trigeminal neuralgia is a persistent type of pain and is often described as a constant ache. Postherpetic neuralgia is caused by shingles or herpes.

Due to the nature of fluctuating facial pain, neuralgia is often mistakenly diagnosed as migraines or tooth ache. Your doctor may suggest a dental examination to rule out infections, fractures or rheumatoid arthritis. Other tests to confirm a diagnosis of neuralgia may include blood tests to check for diabetes and kidney function, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nerve conduction studies and lumbar puncture.


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