What is the glossopharyngeal nerve

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia causes repeated episodes of severe pain in areas connected to the ninth cranial nerve, also known as the glossopharyngeal nerve. These areas include the back of the nose and throat, back of the tongue, ear, tonsil area, and voice box. Some episodes may also be associated with coughing or hoarseness. Episodes may last for seconds or a few minutes, and they may occur many times throughout the day and night. Episodes may be triggered by coughing, sneezing, swallowing, talking, laughing, or chewing.[1][2][3]

Symptoms of glossopharyngeal neuralgia typically occur in individuals over 40 or 50-years-old.[1][2] Pain usually begins at the back of the tongue or throat, and it sometimes spreadsĀ  to the ear or the back of the jaw. The pain can cause difficulty speaking and swallowing. In rare cases, the disorder can cause a slow heart rate (bradycardia), hypotension, no heart beat due to cardiac arrest (asystole), or fainting (syncope).[1][2][4]

Last updated: 6/6/2018