Glossopharyngeal neuralgia is an irritation of the ninth cranial nerve. The condition causes extreme pain in the back of the throat, tongue and ear. In the condition, there can be episodes of electric shock-like pain that occur without a warning (usually triggered by swallowing).
The exact cause of gloss pharyngeal neuralgia is not known, but a blood vessel is often found compressing the nerve and believed to cause the condition. It can also occur in people with throat or neck cancer. The researchers believe the protective sheath of the nerve deteriorates, sending abnormal messages. It disrupts the normal signal of the nerve and cause pain. Most often, the damage is from a blood vessel compressing the nerve. Sometimes, the causes include ageing, multiple sclerosis, and nearby tumours.
Gloss pharyngeal neuralgia is first attempted to be treated with drugs. Some individuals respond well to anticonvulsant drugs. Surgical options such as nerve resection, tractotomy, or microvascular decompression are considered when individuals either don’t respond to, or stop responding to medication. Surgery is usually successful at ending the cycles of pain, although there may be some sensory loss in the mouth, throat, or tongue.
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