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Facial pain Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Facial pain. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. Is the facial pain constant or intermittent?

    Why: intermittent pain may suggest trigeminal neuralgia, cluster headaches or atypical migraine. Constant pain would suggest any local abnormality in the structures underlying the face such as an abscessed sinus, an abscessed tooth, or a neoplasm in these areas.

  2. Where exactly do you experience the pain?

    Why: e.g. pain over the side of the face ( trigeminal area) may suggest trigeminal neuralgia, a tumor arising from the region of the orbit or base of brain that may cause destruction of the trigeminal sensory nerve fibers or an aneurysm developing in the cavernous sinus; glossopharyngeal neuralgia causes pain in the back of the throat and around the tonsils; sphenoidal or ethmoidal sinusitis causes a constant pain behind the eye or behind the nose; temporomandibular joint dysfunction pain is felt over the joint.

  3. Does the pain radiate to anywhere?

    Why: e.g. impacted wisdom teeth may cause pain localized to the lower jaw and radiate to the ear; temporomandibular joint pain may radiate from the joint to the ear, lower jaw and forward to the cheek and even the neck; lesions of the back of the tongue, the oropharynx, tonsils and larynx may radiate pain to the region of the ear.

  4. How would you explain the nature of the facial pain?

    Why: e.g. lightning quality of pain suggests neuralgia; herpes zoster pain may be burning and have an abnormal increased sensitivity to touch; facial migraine is dull and throbbing.

  5. What aggravates the pain?

    Why: e.g. pain increased by chewing often suggests being related to the temporomandibular joint, but it could be related to trigeminal neuralgia, dental caries or salivary gland stones; trigeminal neuralgia pain may be aggravated by talking, chewing, touching certain trigger areas on the face, cold weather or wind or turning onto pillow; glossopharyngeal neuralgia may be triggered by swallowing, coughing and talking; cluster headaches may be aggravated by alcohol.

  6. Is there a history of facial trauma?

    Why: may explain the facial pain.

  7. Have you had a recent upper respiratory tract infection?

    Why: may suggest sinusitis.

  8. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. trigeminal neuralgia may be caused by multiple sclerosis, neurosyphilis or tumor of the back of the brain.

  9. Past psychiatric history?

    Why: e.g. depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and personality disorders increase the risk of atypical facial pain.

  10. Family history?

    Why: e.g. cluster headaches, migraine, neurofibromatosis 2.

  11. Nasal discharge?

    Why: e.g. an associated bloody nasal discharge may suggest nasopharyngeal cancer; a pus-like nasal discharge may suggest acute or chronic sinusitis; a watery nasal discharge may suggest cluster headache or atypical migraine.

  12. Tooth pain?

    Why: may suggest dental caries, tooth abscess, impacted teeth or maxillary sinusitis as a result of dental root infection.

  13. Neck pain?

    Why: may suggest cervical spine dysfunction as the cause of the facial pain. The upper cervical spine can cause facial pain from pathology of the C2 or C3 which may cause pain around the ear.

  14. Fever?

    Why: may suggest orbital cellulitis, sinusitis, tooth abscess, mumps.

  15. Rash?

    Why: may suggest herpes zoster (shingles).

  16. Blurred vision?

    Why: e.g. glaucoma (haloes around lights), acute iritis, corneal ulcer, herpes simplex keratitis, orbital tumor.

  17. Symptoms of maxillary sinusitis?

    Why: e.g. facial pain and tenderness, toothache, post-nasal drip nasal obstruction, runny nose, cough, fever, bleeding nose.

  18. Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia ("tic douloureux")?

    Why: e.g. brief paroxysms of excruciating, searing jabs of pain like a burning knife or electric shock over one side of the face, rarely occurs at night.

  19. Symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer?

    Why: e.g. facial pain, bloody nasal discharge, cranial nerve palsies.

  20. Symptoms of cluster headaches (migrainous neuralgia)?

    Why: e.g. paroxysmal clusters of severe pain over one side of the eye and head which typically occur nightly, usually 2-3 hours after falling asleep. They occur from 1-3 times a day at regular times like clockwork, last for 15 minutes to 2-3 hours and the clusters last 4-6 weeks. Associated with runny or stuffy nose, runny eye, flushing of forehead and cheek, redness of the eye, vomiting and sometimes droopy eyelid on the same side as the pain.

  21. Symptoms of facial migraine (lower half headache)?

    Why: e.g. dull throbbing migraine headache that may affect the face below the level of the eyes, causing pain in the area of the cheek and upper jaw. It may spread over the nostril and lower jaw. Often associated with nausea and vomiting.

  22. Symptoms of giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis)?

    Why: e.g. headache over the inflamed artery on the temporal area, skin over these arteries may be red, may have pain in the face, jaw and mouth which is characteristically worse with eating, may have a sudden painless visual loss in one eye, generalized limb pains occur in 50% of people.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Facial pain:

The following list of conditions have 'Facial pain' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Facial pain or choose View All.

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