Empowering You to Find Relief
Your nerve cells serve a wonderful purpose, allowing you to experience all the sensations that make you feel most alive. But when nerve cells are damaged from geniculate neuralgia, they can cause discomfort and disrupt your life.
When you need expert care for nerve pain, our highly skilled team is here to help. Together with you and your family, we’ll make a plan to ease your geniculate neuralgia symptoms and set you on the path to feeling whole again.
Understanding Geniculate Neuralgia
Geniculate neuralgia is a rare and sometimes debilitating nerve pain that develops when enlarged or irregularly shaped blood vessels pinch the facial nerve (nervus intermedius) and cause intense pain around the ear.
Some common geniculate neuralgia causes are:
- Arteriovenous fistula (AVF)
- Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
- Brain lesions
- Brain tumors
- Ramsay Hunt syndrome (herpes zoster oticus)
Most patients with this condition experience geniculate neuralgia ear pain, or what they describe as a stabbing or electric shock in one ear. Geniculate neuralgia triggers can include cold wind and loud music. But other geniculate neuralgia symptoms can include burning sensations, ringing in the ear, dizziness and loss of balance.
Because many people with geniculate neuralgia think their pain is related to their ears, they turn to an otolaryngologist first for answers. With AdventHealth, you’re a part of a connected network of care through the AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute where all of our providers work hand in hand to ensure that you see the right specialist for a geniculate neuralgia diagnosis.
Here, our specialists are trained to work together to get to the source of your pain and will work to find the answers you deserve. If your pain persists, we’ll explore numerous possibilities, including neurological conditions.
Geniculate neuralgia is deep inside your skull and hard to reach. Since we always prefer trying non-surgical therapies whenever possible, we typically try medications such as carbamazepine (an anticonvulsant) and methysergide maleate (used to treat migraines and cluster headaches) as initial forms of geniculate neuralgia treatment.
However, if these medications don’t help relieve your nerve pain, your neurovascular surgeon may recommend microvascular decompression. This is a solution for geniculate neuralgia surgery. During this minimally invasive procedure, your surgeon will insert a tiny, sponge-like pad between the nerve and abnormal blood vessel to alleviate the pressure.