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Cephalalgia. 2013 Oct;33(14):1198-202. doi: 10.1177/0333102413488000. Epub 2013 May 14.

Lacrimal neuralgia: so far, a missing cranial neuralgia.

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Neurology Department of Fundación Alcorcón University Hospital, Alcorcón, Spain.



The lacrimal nerve supplies the lacrimal gland, the lateral upper eyelid, and a small cutaneous area adjacent to the external CANTHUS . First division trigeminal neuralgia, supraorbital/supratrochlear neuralgia, and infraorbital neuralgia have been acknowledged as neuralgic causes of pain in the forehead and periorbit. However, the lacrimal nerve has never been identified as a source of facial pain. Here we report two cases of lacrimal neuralgia.


A 66-year-old woman had continuous pain in the lateral aspect of her left superior eyelid and an adjacent area of the temple since age 64. A 33-year-old woman suffered from continuous pain in a small area next to the lateral CANTHUS of her left eye since age 25. In both patients the superoexternal edge of the orbit was tender. In addition, sensory dysfunction could be demonstrated within the painful area. Anaesthetic blockades of the lacrimal nerve with lidocaine 2% resulted in complete but short-lasting relief. Pregabalin provided a complete response in the first patient. The second patient was refractory to various oral and topical drugs and different radiofrequency procedures, but she eventually obtained partial relief with pregabalin.


Lacrimal neuralgia should be considered among the neuralgic causes of orbital and periorbital pain.


Cranial neuralgia; lacrimal nerve; lacrimal neuralgia; nerve blockade; terminal branch neuralgia; trigeminal nerve

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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