Trigeminal neuralgia is the condition because of the compression of the trigeminal nerve or damage to the myelin sheath of this nerve. This condition is a chronic painful condition. Trigeminal neuralgia is caused due to the various underlying conditions such as cysts, tumor, multiple sclerosis, arteriovenous malformations and injury to the trigeminal nerve. Apart from the direct causative factors, various factors trigger the attack of trigeminal neuralgia. Stress is one such trigger factor.
Can Trigeminal Neuralgia Be Caused By Stress?
Although the exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia remains unknown there are certain factors that trigger the symptoms or make symptoms worse. The factors that trigger the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia are not usually the primary reasons for this condition. One of these factors is stress. Stressful conditions such as the death of close relatives, divorce, and unemployment have led to the onset of trigeminal neuralgia4. It actually is a vicious cycle of stress and trigeminal neuralgia. While stress worsens the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia, patient with this seriously painful conditions is under tremendous stress while coping with the disease. Further, psychological stress worsens the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia. This is because of the fact that the attack of trigeminal neuralgia is sudden and has high unpredictability. This increases the stress in the patient. This drastically reduces the quality of life and such situations compliments with the disease to affect day-to-day activities.
Does It Affect Speech?
Trigeminal neuralgia is the condition affecting the face. This condition also affects the speaking ability of the patient apart from interfering with biting, eating or drinking. In painful conditions, the patient may not able to speak or move his head. It is also to be noted that talking may also act as a trigger for trigeminal neuralgia or may worsen the condition. It is advised that the patient, during the attack of trigeminal neuralgia should remain still and do not talk to prevent further attacks of pain5.
Causes Of Trigeminal Neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition characterized by chronic pain. The painful condition is caused because of the pressing of blood vessels on the root of the trigeminal nerve. The condition is more commonly found in women as compared to men. The condition is progressive as initially, the symptoms are mild and later on the patient experiences excruciating pain. Some of the causes of trigeminal neuralgia include:
Pressure On Trigeminal Nerve: Almost 90% of the trigeminal neuralgia is caused due to the compression of the trigeminal nerve by blood vessels. The compression mostly takes place at the point where the nerve enters the brain stem. It is not known why the compression of this nerve in some patients causes pain while there are no symptoms in other patients. One explanation for this may be the wearing of the protective myelin sheath from the nerves of the patient1.
Tumor: Presence of tumor may also lead to trigeminal neuralgia. This is because of the destruction of the myelin sheath by the tumor.
Arteriovenous Malformation: Rarely, the condition is also caused due to arteriovenous malformation. The arteriovenous malformation is mostly seen in the ipsilateral posterior fossa. The vessels are dilated and are feeding to nidus and artery2.
Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis can also be the reason for trigeminal neuralgia. Multiple sclerosis causes damage of the myelin sheath of trigeminal nerves3. This results in excruciating pain and other symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia.
Injury Of The Trigeminal Nerve: Various injuries of the trigeminal nerves also results in trigeminal neuralgia. These injuries may be due to sinus surgery, oral surgery, facial trauma or stroke.
Stress and trigeminal neuralgia symptoms are linked together through a vicious cycle. Stress increases or worsens the symptoms while patients with trigeminal neuralgia are under stress because of high unpredictability of the attack of this condition. Trigeminal neuralgia affects the speech of patients and speaking during trigeminal neuralgia attack further worsens the condition.
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