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Glossopharyngeal neuralgia is characterized by repeated episodes of severe pain in areas connected to the ninth cranial nerve (glossopharyngeal nerve): the back of the nose and throat; back of the tongue; ear; tonsil area; and voice box. These episodes, or "attacks," may last for a few seconds or a few minutes. They may be triggered by actions such as coughing or sneezing, swallowing, talking, laughing,or chewing. Pain usually begins at the back of the tongue or throat, and it sometimes spreads to the ear or the back of the jaw. In rare cases the heartbeat may be affected, which can cause fainting.
Last updated: 1/28/2013
- Glossopharyngeal neuralgia. MedlinePlus. May 21, 2012; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001636.htm. Accessed 1/28/2013.
- Michael Rubin. Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia. Merck Manuals. September 2012; http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/brain_spinal_cord_and_nerve_disorders/cranial_nerve_disorders/glossopharyngeal_neuralgia.html?qt=glossopharyngeal&alt=sh. Accessed 1/25/2013.