Your description of the pain about the type, location, and triggers will help your doctor diagnose trigeminal neuralgia. Other tests include:
- A neurological examination. It can be used to determine where the pain is occurring and which branches of the trigeminal nerve may be affected.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It can be used to determine if multiple sclerosis or a tumor is causing trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia treatment usually includes:
- Medications to lessen or block the pain signals sent to your brain such as anticonvulsants, antispasmodic agents, and botox injections. They all have side effects, so consult with your doctor before use any of them.
- Surgery options such as microvascular decompression, which involves relocating or removing blood vessels that are in contact with the trigeminal root to stop the nerve from malfunctioning, and brain stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma knife), which uses radiation to damage the trigeminal nerve and reduce or eliminate pain. A rhizotomy can be used to destroy nerve fibers to reduce pain, and this causes some facial numbness.