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Head and Facial Pain

Head and facial pain can be debilitating and life altering.

There is no single cause of head and facial pain. It can be as varied as stress, nerve disorders and infections.

Common head and facial pain conditions include:


Chronic headaches are classified in a variety of ways, including migraine, tension, cluster and chronic daily headaches.

  • Migraines are often described as recurrent headaches that usually affect one side of the head. They are associated with triggers such as changes in diet, sleep or ingestion of certain foods.
  • Tension headache are the most common type of headache and often described as wearing a tight headband. This headache is associated with stress and can occur as a result of neck pain.
  • Cluster headaches can have various features but are described as occurring together in periodic clusters followed by headache-free periods. The headache-free periods can sometimes be quite long.

Ear, nose and throat pain

These pain conditions represent a complex and challenging group of disorders to treat.

If you have ear, nose and throat pain, you should be seen by an otolaryngologist to evaluate whether your condition is correctable. If the pain persists after medical and surgical treatments have been exhausted, it is best to meet with a pain physician.

Many patients have no identifiable medical or surgical causes for this subset of painful conditions. Our specialists are especially skilled in these kinds of cases.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN)

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a painful condition caused by irritation of one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve.

It causes episodes of intense pain in any or all of the following areas on one side of the face:

  • Ears
  • Eyes
  • Lips
  • Nose
  • Scalp
  • Forehead
  • Teeth
  • Jaw
TN can bring about stabbing, electric shock-like pain from the lightest touch of a finger or spontaneously without any external stimulation. Due to the debilitating nature of this condition, you should seek early care.

Eye pain

This condition can have a number of causes including:

  • Foreign bodies
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Arterial and venous problems

An evaluation by an ophthalmologist should be completed to determine if the cause of the eye pain is a medical or surgical issue that would require correction. However, if the cause of the eye pain is not amenable to a medical or surgical correction, you may greatly benefit from an evaluation by a pain physician.

To be seen by one of our specialists, call 949-UCI-PAIN (949-824-7246) or request an appointment online ›

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To reach a doctor or nurse during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), call 949-824-7246 and leave a message. Your call will be returned within 12 business hours.

After business hours or on weekends: call the main hospital at 714-456-7890 and ask the hospital operator to contact the doctor on call by paging 3386.