Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) or douloureux is an ailment that is characterized by a sharp pain in the face. It involves a blood vessel applying pressure to the trigeminal nerve, with episodes of pain that can last from weeks to months. The condition produces periods of pain that can intensify when brushing, shaving, talking, eating, applying makeup and other activities that involve movement of the cheek area.

The flashes of pain can last for moments and occur multiple times in a day with pain in an isolated area of the face and radiating to other regions attached to the nerve. These episodes of pain are tempered by periods when there is no pain, however with progression of time, the pain episodes become longer with shorter periods of no pain.


In most cases, the cause of the condition is idiopathic, meaning the root cause is unknown. However, there are some instances when the nerve can be compressed by a tumor, a blood vessel, or aneurysm.

Another commonly accepted theory for the cause of the condition is compression of the nerve by a blood vessel causing the trigeminal nerve to become irritated, which causes the myelin sheath (outer covering of the nerve) to erode over long term. The irritated nerve then becomes more intense and produces flashes of pain.

Bony abnormalities, infections, trauma and multiple sclerosis may also irritate or damage the trigeminal nerve.


TN results in a sudden, shock-like, or acute pain that lasts from seconds to a few minutes. The pain can be felt around the jaw, nose, scalp, cheeks, and forehead. Sometimes the pain is so severe that the affected individual can become afraid to eat, talk, or even move during flashes of attacks. There can also be pain or numbness between multiple attacks and no dysfunction of facial muscles.

There is a tendency in trigeminal neuralgia symptoms for sudden remission, with intervals that are pain free for weeks or even months, followed by exacerbations, which can make it difficult to judge the effectiveness of treatments. Exacerbations usually occur in the spring and fall seasons, according to the SkullBase Institute.

TN is considered as one of the most severe conditions seen in healthcare. The pain is felt on one side of the cheek or jaw, but some individuals experience it on both sides. While there may be a single attack of pain, the fear that it might return can make patients distraught. TN doesn’t occur during sleep, which differentiates it from migraines.

The disorder is more common in females than in males and rarely experienced by anyone less than 50 years of age.

Treatment Options

The initial treatment is directed towards controlling the pain. The most effective anti-convulsive medication is the use of drugs such as gabapentin and carbamazepine. Patients should start these at a low dose and gradually uptake the ideal dosage to an extent which controls the pain but does not lead to side effects.

But anticonvulsive medication may not help all patients, which is why surgical options are recommended. The most common surgical destructive procedure involve gamma knife radiation, glycerol injections, and balloon compression. These procedures interrupt the pain by damaging the fibers of the trigeminal nerve. The non-surgical procedure, on the other hand, may be performed endoscopically or by open surgery.

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The Fitbug Features-

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Your Own Pocket-sized Trainer-

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Getting the best healthcare is one of the top priorities for most of us. As the adage goes “Health is wealth,” being in good health and top physical condition is definitely as good as, or even better, enormous amounts of riches. That is why more and more people are getting reputable healthcare and insurance especially in this day and age where majority of illnesses can either be prevented or cured by early detection and proper care and treatment. The advancement in medicine and technology increases the chances of getting well and fast recovery from sickness. The availability of more hospitals, institutions and websites such as that provide excellent healthcare packages made medical tourism popular among health-conscious people and vacationers. Gone are the days when tourism is just about visiting other places to have fun and relax. Medical tourism combines the fun and thrill of checking out new sights and places with having your health checked in top hospitals all over the world.

One of the countries famous for its excellent and trustworthy medical tourism packages is Turkey. This is hardly a surprise since stats from 2012 show that there are over 29,960 medical institutions in Turkey, with the government spending more than 76 billion Turkish Lira for healthcare. People looking for the best medical tourism destination need not stress themselves looking. Turkey’s neighboring countries such as Iraq, Syria and Libya may find this country as a great choice for medical tourism package. To those who are still unconvinced of Turkey being a great medical tourism destination, here are some reasons that might change your mind.



Turkey: A medical tourism destination

  1. Relatively closer than other medical tourism destinations – People coming from countries such as Iraq and Libya will find Turkey a better choice when it comes to medical tourism because of its close proximity to their home countries.
  1.  Affordable medical procedures – Compared to its western counterparts, the prices of medical procedures and surgeries such as bone marrow transplant, heart bypass and spinal infusion are relatively cheaper in Turkey.
  1. Excellent healthcare services – In the past years, various healthcare facilities can be found in Turkey with much of these equipped with state-of-the art facilities and machines. The healthcare institutions and facilities in Turkey adhere to international health standards. They also work with well-known international organizations thus ensuring the quality and credibility of their medical procedures. It is also worth noting that Turkey is one of the countries with a high number of JCI accredited organizations with 48. You may further appreciate this statistic when you know that a country such as Spain only has 21 JCI-accredited institutions.


Bone marrow transplant

  1. Specializations in various medical procedures/surgeries – With an average of 40,000 medical tourists visiting Turkey, you can be sure that Turkey has various medical specializations. Some of Turkey’s specializations in the field of medicine are cardiovascular surgery, in vitro fertilization, oncology, gamma knife and bone marrow transplantation.

The items listed above are just some of the reasons why Turkey is a great choice for medical tourists. Make sure to browse the web and do more research before getting a medical tourism package.