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Pain Problems » Head & Neck Area » Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia or pain in the distribution of glossopharyngeal nerve distribution is one of the causes for facial pain. Weisenberg first described it in the year 1910 . Harris gave the term glossopharyngeal neuralgia in the year 1921.This is a rare condition, there are no data on its prevalence. Its incidence is 0.8 per 100,000, and it is estimated that trigeminal neuralgia is six times more common than this disorder. It is also more common in women and in the older age group. The Lancinating and shooting pain can be felt in the region of the tonsillar fossa, throat or base of the tongue. It can radiate to the ear or the angle of jaw or into the upper part of neck. Swallowing movements might aggravate the pain. Because of this, patient may not be able to take care of oral hygiene.

Halitosis (bad breath) may be present along with drooling of saliva. The pain is usually unilateral but is more likely to be bilateral than trigeminal neuralgia. There are reported cases of both trigeminal and Glossopharyngeal neuralgia. Some may have associated syncope and heart rhythm disturbances.

  1. Medical Management
  2. Interventions
    - Glossopharyngeal nerve block
    - Radiofrequency lesioning of nerve
  3. Surgery
    - Microvascular decompression