Frequently Asked Questions

What is Facial Pain Awareness Month?

Facial Pain Awareness Month is the month of October, during which the entire facial pain community participates in awareness raising activities.

Why the general term “Facial Pain?”

The Facial Pain Community, online and elsewhere, is comprised of many people with a wide range of diagnoses. It is commonly accepted to include the cranial neuralgias and the trigeminal autonomic cephalgias (TACs) in the definition of facial pain conditions.

The best known facial pain conditions are:

  • trigeminal neuralgia
  • geniculate neuralgia
  • glossopharyngeal neuralgia
  • anesthesia dolorosa/trigeminal deafferentation pain
  • cluster headache
  • paroxysmal hemicrania
  • SUNCT/SUNA

Taken separately, these conditions are among the rarest of the rare. Raising awareness for any one of them is a huge challenge, a fact that we have seen first hand when trying to raise awareness for TN, the most common among them.Taken together though, the constellation of conditions that make up Facial Pain affects a substantially larger percentage of people than any single condition.Put simply:

The more conditions included, the more of us there are.
The more of us there are, the more attention we can attract.
The more attention we attract, the more awareness can be raised. 

Why a month?

With the inclusion of 8 conditions, it would be impossible to do everything in a single day.

We’re a group of patients with an unpredictable pain syndrome. It too often happens that
people wait the entire year to observe the day, only to feel bad on that one day.
Then they’ve missed their opportunity for another 364 days.

Spreading awareness out over a month gives people ample opportunity to
participate in awareness raising, and more of it!

What about TN Awareness Day on Oct 7?

Nothing will change.  

International TN Awareness Day will continue as usual.

Just like every year for the past four years, on October 7th, thousands of trigeminal neuralgia patients will throw their best efforts into raising awareness of TN on social media. Some folks will also take their awareness raising offline and into their local communities.

A word about International TN Awareness Day:

The International TN Awareness Day effort is and has always been 100% grassroots, originating with a small group of facial pain patients and promoted online by friends and family alike. As testament to their motivation and efforts, TN Awareness Day has gained traction and looks to be the biggest and best one yet in 2017. 

We want to acknowledge and offer deep gratitude to the facial pain patients who made International TN Awareness Day what it is today, and who continue to promote awareness tirelessly. 

Please be among the people raising awareness for TN on Oct. 7th!

What about October being Breast Cancer Awareness month?

It’s very common for conditions to overlap on the calendar. It would be impossible for them to not overlap as there are more conditions than there are days, weeks, and months in the year.In addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness month, October is also:

  • National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
  • Eye Injury Prevention Month
  • Health Literacy Month
  • Healthy Lung Month
  • Home Eye Safety Month
  • National Physical Therapy Month
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month
  • Spina Bifida Awareness Month
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • National ADHD Awareness Month

There is no need to be bothered by sharing an awareness month. Since awareness is not a finite resource over which we are fighting with other groups to acquire, there’s enough for all of us at the table.Whenever possible, we should seek to partner with groups to help each other raise awareness. When we build each other up instead of tearing each other down, everyone wins!

Will the other conditions have their own days too?

Yes!

Geniculate Neuralgia Awareness Day
Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia Awareness Day
Anesthesia Dolorosa Awareness Day
Cluster Headache Awareness Day
Paroxysmal Hemicrania Awareness Day
SUNCT/SUNA Awareness Day

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Who is sponsoring Facial Pain Awareness Month?

Facial Pain Awareness Month is sponsored by the Facial Pain Advocacy Alliance, THE WORLD"S ONLY 501(c)3 non-profit facial pain organization made up entirely of unpaid volunteers who are facial pain patients themselves. See more about FPAA here.

Money raised to secure Facial Pain Awareness Month on the National Day Calendar - the official calendar of awareness days, weeks, and months - will be collected by FPAA. As always, we pledge that our financial information will always be open to public scrutiny upon request. Not a penny of donations collected will be used for payroll or overhead because - we have non