Why Does My Face Hurt? Reasons for Facial Pain

Trigeminal Neuralgia

The trigeminal nerve is a nerve in the brain that is responsible for facial sensations. If this nerve is damaged, it can cause a burning or shock-like pain in the face. This pain can be either short-lived or ongoing. Treatment for this condition may include drugs or surgery.

Migraine

If you have this type of headache, you may experience pain in your face, especially on one side of your head. The pain can be throbbing and may last for several hours or days. Some people experience an "aura" before the headache, which is characterized by blinking lights or visual "blind spots." You may also feel nauseous and be more sensitive to noise, light, and smells. Your doctor can help you treat the headache with changes in diet and sleep habits, as well as medication.

Sinusitis

If you have pain and pressure around your nose and forehead, and a stuffy or runny nose, it may be due to sinusitis. However, if you don't also have a fever, colored snot, a lessened sense of smell, or pain around the cheek, it's more likely that the cause is a migraine. Your doctor can help you treat it with rest, pain medication, and sometimes antibiotics.

Deviated Septum

If you have an injury or illness that affects your septum, the piece of rubbery tissue that separates your two nasal passages, it can make it difficult to breathe through one nostril. You may also experience more congestion, nosebleeds, snoring, and sinus infections. In some cases, this can also lead to facial pain. In most cases, no treatment is necessary, but in serious cases, your doctor may suggest surgery.

TMJ Problems

The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) link your lower jaw to your skull just below your ears. You can injure them in an accident, or if you chew too hard or grind your teeth. It may hurt to eat, and your jaw could feel like it catches, pops, or locks in place. Pain can radiate from the joint into your face. It might go away on its own, but your doctor might suggest splints, night guards, medicines, physical therapy, or surgery.

Shingles

The chickenpox virus can stay in your body after you've had chickenpox and cause a painful, blistering rash. The rash is more common on your stomach, chest, or back, but it can also appear on your face. You may feel a tingling, burning, or itching sensation on your skin as the rash forms red, fluid-filled blisters. Even after the rash heals, you may still feel pain. There is a vaccine that can help prevent shingles or ease your symptoms.

Mouth Cancer

If you experience pressure, sores, swelling, or pain in your facial area that don't go away, you may have oral cancer. This type of cancer can affect the lips, gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, cheek lining, or soft floor of the mouth. Using tobacco increases your risk of developing oral cancer. Treatment for this disease may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these therapies.

Cluster Headache

A sudden headache that causes severe pain on one side of the head and face, reaching its peak 5-10 minutes after it starts, is most likely a cluster headache. This type of headache often occurs at the same time every day, for weeks at a time, and is accompanied by other symptoms such as red, swollen, teary eyes and a inflamed nose. The person may also feel anxious and sensitive to light, sound, or smell. Oxygen, pills, electrical stimulation, or medicated nasal sprays are some of the ways a doctor might treat a cluster headache.

Salivary Gland Infection

Sialadenitis is a medical condition that refers to an infection of the salivary glands. This can cause a painful lump in the cheek or around the chin, as well as fever, chills, and a bad-tasting pus that drains into the mouth. Older people are more likely to get sialadenitis, and it is usually treated with antibiotics.

Mouth Cancer

If you experience pressure, sores, swelling, or pain in your facial area that don't go away, you may have oral cancer. This type of cancer can affect the lips, gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, cheek lining, or soft floor of the mouth. Using tobacco increases your risk of developing oral cancer. Treatment for this disease may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these therapies.

Abscessed Tooth

An infection by bacteria can affect your tooth, gums, or the bone that holds them together. This causes pus to form, which builds up pressure and leads to a throbbing pain that spreads to your ear and jaw. Your tooth may feel loose. In addition, your gums and face may become red, swollen, and tender to the touch. To address the infection, your dentist will likely remove the tooth or perform root canal surgery to get rid of the abscess and seal the tooth from further infection.

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Fluid can build up quickly in your eye when it's suddenly blocked from draining, which can cause pain, swelling, redness around your eye, and blurred vision. If left untreated, it can cause vision loss within a day. Doctors can use drugs to ease the pressure and a laser to make a small hole in your iris to help drain fluid.

Giant Cell Arteritis

If the arteries in your head and scalp become inflamed, you may experience serious pain around your temples, fever, and weight loss. In some cases, the inflammation can cause blurry vision or sudden, permanent vision loss in one eye. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but it typically affects people over the age of 50. Treatment usually involves high doses of corticosteroids.

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