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Nervus Intermedius Neuralgia

What is Nervus Intermedius Neuralgia?

Nervus Intermedius Neuralgia (also referred to as “geniculate neuralgia”) results when the nervus intermedius nerve deep in the ear is compressed by a blood vessel. When the Nervus Intermedius nerve is compressed symptoms include cluster headaches and deep ear pain.

Similar to Trigeminal Neuralgia, this facial pain condition is characterized by sharp, stabbing, electric like sensations. The pain strikes deep in the ear and attacks may last for minutes or drag on for hours.

Some patients describe Nervus Intermedius Neuralgia pain as feeling like they have an ice pick in their ear. Common pain triggers include, light touch of the ear, chewing, swallowing and talking.

Symptoms of Nervus Intermedius Neuralgia

Nervus Intermedius Neuralgia patients have experienced some or all of the following symptoms:

  • An intermittent stabbing pain deep in the ear.
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus).
  • Bitter taste in the mouth.
  • Cluster headaches.
  • Excess salivation.
  • Dizziness or vertigo.

Treatments for Nervus Intermedius Neuralgia

You may be wondering which course of treatment you should try first for your nervus intermedius neuralgia.


In most cases, your doctor will want to try medications first. Ideally, you’ll be started on an anticonvulsant such as Trileptal or Tegretol, both of which work to dampen the misfiring nerve impulses that are causing your pain and discomfort.

Medication isn’t always an effective option for nerve conditions. This can be due to a number of reasons. Some people experience strong side effects that can interfere with their day-to-day life. Others may experience temporary relief, only to have the effects start to wane, even at higher doses. Others may not experience any relief.

Microvascular Decompression

When medication is proving ineffective against your nervus intermedius neuralgia, the next course of action to consider is surgery. Microvascular decompression surgery (MVD) is the gold standard for many nerve pain conditions and the only truly effective surgical option for your condition. This is because it actually corrects the root of the problem.

In many cases of nervus intermedius neuralgia, the pain is caused by a nerve being compressed by a blood vessel. When this happens, the constant pounding from the vein or artery irritates the nerve to the point that it begins to respond with misfired impulses.

To alleviate this pain and irritation, your neurosurgeon will perform a craniotomy through a small “window” created at the base of your skull. He or she will isolate the affected nerve and carefully place a tiny Teflon sponge between it and the vein or artery to create a buffer. The beauty of MVD is that the results are almost instant and no nerve function is compromised.

Why Neurosurgeons of New Jersey Is the Best Choice

Finding a doctor you feel comfortable working with can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where to look. At Neurosurgeons of New Jersey, you’ll be treated by only the most experienced and compassionate doctors and staff members. Every surgeon specializes in his or her area of practice, and you can rest assured that each doctor’s approach to good medicine starts with the first consultation and continues through until you’ve reached wellness.

You also never have to travel too far from home to receive treatment for your nervus intermedius neuralgia — Neurosurgeons of New Jersey offers five different locations, making finding a practice close to you easy. If you’re experiencing a nerve condition such as nervus intermedius neuralgia, you owe it to yourself to find the best, most experienced doctors to help you get back to the life you want to live.