5 Triple Whammy
Trigeminal neuralgia is known to coexist with a few other dastardly houseguests. As if the feeling of your face being pierced by ice picks and electrocuted by lightning while your teeth feel weighted down by 10-ton dumbbells isn’t enough, now you’ve got to throw in the extra perks of a down-and-out trigeminal nerve.
The most commonly known comorbidity with TN is multiple sclerosis.Scientists have yet to determine the nature of the connection or which comes first—the proverbial chicken or the egg. (However, it is noteworthy that 1–2 percent of MS patients have TN as their first symptom.)
Researchers have identified a chilling rate: 18 percent of women with TN also have a diagnosis of MS, and 2 percent of all MS patients have TN. To make it even worse, 5 percent of all TN–MS patients suffer from bilateral facial pain, a rare type of TN as it usually only makes its home on one side of the face.
Another problem for TN sufferers is migraines and cluster headaches. These three tend to travel in groups, although one is not thought to cause the others. Some doctors theorize that this may be due to the proximity between migraines and cluster headaches with the trigeminal nerve itself, resulting in an interconnected web of aggravation, pain, and secondary symptoms.