Causes of Trigeminal neuralgia are usually unknown or idiopathic. However it is known to occur due to compression of the nerve due to nearby blood vessel aneurysms or tumors.
Common Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia:
There are many patho-physiologies involved which are responsible for causing Trigeminal Neuralgia.
- Focal demyelination of trigeminal nerve or ganglia and
- Extrinsic and intrinsic tumors near the branches of nerve.
- Micro vascular compression due to blood vessel impinging on the root of trigeminal nerve.
- Demyelination of trigeminal nerve fibers leading to transmission of impulses between light touch and pain fibers.
Myelin sheath is an electrically insulating material that covers part of a neuron which is responsible for
conduction and propagation of signals/impulses from one cell to other.
Demyelination is the loss of myelin sheath which occurs due to the nerve or any disease. The symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia occur because of this demyelination and hence one of the important Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia.
Rare Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia:
- Aneurysm - Localised balloon like bulge in the wall of blood vessel causing nerve compression.
- Syringomyelia - Formation of cyst or a cavity in the spinal cord
- Post-medullary infarction - is a disease where neurologic symptoms occur due to injury of the lateral part of the medulla in the brain.
- Sarcoidosis - is a disease where there is an abnormal collections of inflammatory cells forming nodules in multiple organs
Serious Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia:
- Tumors like Schwannoma, Cholesteatoma, Acoustic Neuroma, Epidermoid meningioma and metastases.
- Multiple sclerosis
A variety of triggers may set off the pain of trigeminal neuralgia which includes:
- Anxiety and apprehensions
- Stroking your face
- Washing your face
- Heavy traffic sounds and horns
- Brushing your teeth
- Putting on makeup
- Encountering a breeze
- Slightest sounds in silent room
- Radiation of mobile phone towers