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Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by brief, lancinating, electrical shock/light pain with free intervals when the patient is completely asymptomatic. Attacks may occur and terminate abruptly, although the patient may experience background, burning pain between “shocks”. The pain attacks are unilateral and usually triggered by chewing. Most patients are over 50 years of age, when it occurs in a young patient, multiple sclerosis must be conceded.
The diagnosis is made by taking a detailed history and physical of the patient. A CT Scan of the face may be required to rule out any tumor.