What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
What is Trigeminal neuralgia?
(TN) is a severe pain condition affecting a part or one half of the face. The pain is most commonly caused by a blood vessel pushing on the trigeminal nerve.
TN is not a life threatening ailment but it is progressive disease meaning that the pain gets worse over the time making itdifficult for the patient to carry out simple daily chores.
How I should know that I am suffering by Trigeminal Neuralgia?
You may be suffering from TN if you have the following symptoms-
If you feel pain usually on one side of your face from your forehead to your jaw, especially in your cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, and lipsIn some cases pain could be felt on both sides. This condition is called as bilateral trigeminal… Click To Tweet
If you feel pain while brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your face or putting on makeup
Even a light breeze against your face might trigger the pain.
Such pain gets triggered while speaking or chewing or due to slight touch on face or even brushing your teeth.
Pain is felt like an electric shock with varying intensity lasting for few seconds to several minutes
Pain attacks come several times a day or week, followed by pain-free periods. In later stage frequency of attack increases.
Pain is seldom experienced around the eyes and on the forehead
Remember that in TN pain is mostly felt in cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, and lips so it may be misdiagnosed as an abscessed tooth or swollen gum and a visit to the dentist may in turn extend one’s painful days.
Am I more likely to suffer from TN?Women especially over age 50 are more likely than men to get trigeminal neuralgia. Click To Tweet
The disease is more common in people older than 50.
People suffering from High blood pressure are more susceptible to TN
In some cases TN runs in the family, perhaps because of hereditary basis of formation of blood vessels in the brain
HEADING:NOTABLE PUBLIC FIGURES SUFFERING FROM TN
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It is estimated that 1 in 15,000 to 20,000 people world-wide have TN
Is Trigeminal Neuralgia curable?
Of course Yes! TN could be treated by medications or surgical procedures
Medications can cause the pain subside by suppressing the TN symptoms. Certain drugs are called as anticonvulsants keep the nerves from reacting to irritation thus reducing the pain.
In some cases, over time medications become less effective, in such case surgical procedure is the best option. Micro-vascular Decompression Surgery, involving moving or taking out blood vessels that are compressing the trigeminal nerve is the classic remedy to cure trigeminal neuralgia with consistently good results.
WIINS holds the distinction of highestnumber of successfully treated cases of trigeminal neuralgia by a single surgeon. WIINS has successfully treated over ——– patients for Trigeminal Neuralgia making their lives pain free.
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What is Brain (Cerebral) Aneurysm?
IN SIMPLE TERMS – it is a baloon on an artery which is very weak and may rupture without any warning symptoms.
It is referred to as a TICKING TIMEBOMB
In more scientific terms:
It is an outward bulging, ballooning of abnormal, weak area in the wall of blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain
In most cases, a brain aneurysm causes no symptoms and goes unnoticed.
But in some cases they rupture, causing bleeding into the brain or the space closely surrounding the brain called the subarachnoid space, causing a subarachnoid hemorrhage commonly known as brain stroke. Such stroke may prove fatal leading to brain damage subsequently death.
It is a medical emergency with serious implications if left untreated.
What causes Brain Aneurysm?
Following are the major causes of Aneurysm
- Old Age: Hardening of blood vessels due to old age
- Family History:May result from the diseases acquired from genetic condition. It is observed that the people having a family history of such aneurysms are more likely to have an aneurysm than those who don’t.
- Previous Aneurysm:People who have had a brain aneurysm are more likely to have another.
- Gender:Women are more prone to develop a brain aneurysm or to suffer a subarachnoid hemorrhage than men.
- High Blood Pressure: Patients suffering by hypertension or high blood pressure are on the higher side of risk to have brain aneurysm.
- Addiction: Smoking, Excessive Alcohol Consumption, Concaine Use can increase the chances of getting brain aneurysm and rupturing it.
- Other: Head trauma or infections can also cause brain aneurysm
- In most cases, the cause remains unknown.
What are the symptoms of Brain Aneurysm?
Most of the brain aneurysms go unnoticed and may come to attention if their size increases putting pressure on the nearby brain areas thus affecting the brain function. Broadly symptoms of unruptured and ruptured aneurysms are listed as follows.
Symptoms of Un-ruptured Aneurysm
Remember that majority Un-ruptured Aneurysm show no symptoms.
If presen, symptoms may be as follows :
- Peripheral vision deficits
- Thinking or processing problems
- Speech complications
- Perceptual problems
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Decreased concentration
- Short-term memory difficulty
Symptoms of Ruptured Aneurysm
The symptoms are due to subarachnoid hemorrhage i.e. bleeding into the layer covering the brain.
- Very Severe headache which can’t be alleviated by pain killers. The headache is described as a ‘THUNDERCLAP HEADACHE’, i.e like being struck by a bolt of lightning.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stiff neck or neck pain
- Blurred vision or double vision
- Pain above and behind the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Loss of sensationsn
How is Brain Aneurysm diagnosed?
Most of the unruptured brain aneurysms remain undiscovered as they don’t cause any peculiar symptoms. In many cases aneurysms get detected while treating patients for different disease.
On rupture,there is a 50% chance of death before the person reaches a hospital.
So to diagnose the aneurysm before rupture is the key objective.
Doctor can diagnose brain aneurysm by the following methods.
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan:This can be used to check the bleeding in brain. This is non invasive method used to look at blood vessels in the brain. It cannot detect Un-ruptured Aneurysm.
- Computed tomography angiogram (CTA) scan:This is a more precise method than a standard CT scan. It involves combination of CT scanning, special computer software, and dye injected into the blood to produce images of blood vessels. Unlike CT scan CTA is invasive method. It cannot detect small aneurysms and is suitable only for large ones.
- Cerebral Angiogram: This is the best modalitiy to diagnose even very small Un-ruptured aneurysms. This is invasive procedure in which flexible tube i.e. catheter is guided through artery in groin or arm to the blood vessels in brain. A liquid dye or contrast agent is then injected into vessel and x-ray images are taken. Although this test is more invasive and carries more risk than the above tests, it is the best way to locate small (less than 5 mm) brain aneurysms as it gives the highest detailed pictures of location, size and shape of the aneurysm.
How Brain Aneurysm is treated?
Not all aneurysms need to be treated as the probability of a very small aneurysm rupturing is low. Moreover, surgery for a brain aneurysm is complicated and risky. So your doctor may advice ways to keep blood vessels as healthy as possible by managing high blood pressure, abstaining smoking, heavy alcohol consumption.
In case of larger aneurysms with a high risk of rupture or causing severe headaches or obstruction in normal brain functioning, surgical procedures might be recommended.
Following are the two surgical methods used to treat both ruptured and unruptured brain aneurysms.
Endovascular Embolization: During this procedure, a small tube i.e. catheter is inserted into the affected blood vessel and positioned near the aneurysm.
For coil embolization, soft metal coils are then moved through the tube and packed into the aneurysm, filling the aneurysm there by preventing the blood flow to enter in to the aneurysm and making it less likely to rupture.
In mesh embolization, mesh is placed in the aneurysm, to block the blood flow to the aneurysm and in turn reduce its risk of rupturing.
These procedures are less invasive than surgery. They are suitable for small aneurysms and costs are quite high.
Surgical Clipping: In this procedure an incision is made in the skin over the head. After which a small metal clip is placed around the base of aneurysm to stop blood flowing in to it. This reduces the pressure on aneurysm and prevents it from rupturing.
In WIINS, for certain cases, we use a special technique called ‘adenosine arrest’ in which the neuroanesthetist stops the heart for a couple of seconds, which causes the aneurysm to deflate,thus reducing thr risk of Aneurysm rupture while putting the clip.
All this being said, surgery for brain aneurysms is risky and has a high mortality inspite of the surgery going well. Equally important is the post operative care and inherent response of the body to such stress.
Depending on your age, size of the aneurysm, any additional risk factors, and your overall health doctor finalizes the method to treat brain aneurysms.
WIINS has gifted normal life ——– patients by successfully treating their Brain (Cerebral) Aneurysm.
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