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Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

What is Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia?

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia is a disorder characterized by intense pain in the tonsils, middle ear, and back of the tongue. The pain can be intermittent or relatively persistent.

What can trigger Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia?

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia can be triggered by swallowing, chewing, talking, sneezing, or eating spicy foods. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia is often the result of compression of the 9th nerve or 10th nerve. In some cases, no cause is evident.

Can Glossopharyngeal be Treated?

Yes. Generally, treatment is aimed at the symptoms of glossopharyngeal neuralgia. Drugs such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, baclofen, and amitrityline may alleviate pain. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerve.

What is the prognosis of Glossopharyngeal?

People with glossopharyngeal neuralgia have remissions and exacerbations. For many individuals, drug therapy reduces or eliminates the pain sufficiently for them to carry on with their lives. When surgery is needed, most individuals have very good results.

What type of research is being done?

Within the NINDS research programs, glossopharyngeal neuralgia is addressed primarily through studies on pain. NINDS vigorously pursues new treatments for pain and nerve damage with the ultimate goal of reversing glossopharyngeal neuralgia.

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