Millet resident says more awareness needed for rare condition

Trigeminal Neuralgia is progressive non-life threatening incurable disease

Dear editor,

On October 7 the Edmonton High Level Bridge will light up with the colour “teal” to spread awareness about a disease called Trigeminal Neuralgia.

It was originally called Tic Doloureux before it became known as Trigeminal Neuralgia.This disease is a progressive non-life threatening incurable disease that affects every day of a sufferers life. There is 1 in 100,000 people that suffer in silence every day with this horrid disease. I know this as I am a suffer!

We need to spread awareness so that people do not feel like they are alone. “TNnME” is an organization of people that are working on lighting up the world “teal” so that we can increase awareness; doing so means there is an increase in research and that sufferers do not feel alone. Many people are misdiagnosed for years as it is believed to be tooth pain or sinus issues.

TN is characterized by sharp stabbing pains in the fifth nerve in the face that can effect the ophthalmic, mandibular and maxillary branches in the trigeminal nerve. It is a recurrent electric shock line pain that can last seconds to 15 minutes and can occur up to 100 times per day. It can be triggered by stimuli as such heat or cold, talking, chewing, wind hitting the face, and various other day to day life functions.

The sudden sharp pain can cause a person to flinch in pain. Remissions are possible but not common. At times after a remission period the pain comes back even worse than before.

The TNA and TNAC are trying to find a cure for this disease. You can go through surgeries in hopes to find relief and you choose to have these surgeries with the knowledge that they may not work. There is no medication at this time specifically designed for this disease. Currently, anti-convulsants for seizures are used in hopes to help.

Raising awareness of the disease is the first step, so let’s all support sufferers on Oct. 7. Thank you.

Sabrina Jaffray-Barnes

Millet

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