Thursday, January 30, 2014

Trigeminal Neuralgia and Turtle Fur

From reading the tittle, you might be thinking what do the trigeminal nerves have to do with turtle fur and do turtles even have fur?  But I promise this post is actually about something that I find extremely helpful during these frigid windy months called Turtle Fur.

As I've mentioned in the past, I have cranial nerve involvement as result of Sjögren's and unfortunately my trigeminal nerves have been affected.  Check out my previous post here and the awesome Sjögren's blogger Julia from Reasonably Well has also discussed it here.  

The bottom line is that trigeminal neuralgia is an extremely, extremely painful condition and unfortunately wind or cold touching the face can be a major pain trigger for many who suffer from it. This presents a great challenge for those of us who live climates with frigid and windy winters. For me, this means that in order to go outside in the winter, I need to keep my face protected at all times.  Something like a scarf just doesn't do it because the trigeminal nerve runs down the side of the entire face and has three main branches that also cross the face.  Scarves and even pashminas also don't stay up completely and can easily fall down as I've learned the hard way.  Believe me, I've tried everything.

A couple years ago, I found a product called the Turtle Fur Neck Warmer (pictured below) that has been a saving grace.  It is made from fleece, soft and warm, and feels good on my face.  I find that some materials can also be aggravating to my trigeminal nerves.  The great thing about this product is that it can go up all the way to right below my eyes and actually stays there.  Most other products I tried in the past would usually fall down at some point leaving my face exposed. My other favorite thing about this neck warmer is that it has a double layers of fleece so it's very warm.  

Image Source

Now, turtle fur isn't the only part of my trigeminal nerve protection routine.  I also wear big sunglasses, which shield my dry eyes and the branch of the trigeminal nerve that crosses the eyelid and forehead.  To complete my going outside garb, I wear a hat with side flaps that is lined with a fleece material that covers my forehead completely and adds double protection for my ears, which also have been impacted by Sjögren's (There are plenty of variations of these).  I might not be recognizable when I go out in the winter, but at least I have found a way to go out and be in less pain. 

This faux fur looked particularly protective

Mine is a variation on this lined with fleece

How do you protect yourself in the winter to minimize your autoimmune symptoms?

***Please note I have no relationship with any of the companies mentioned in this or any other post***


  1. Fortunately so far, my trigeminal neuralgia is not as sensitive as yours. I do have to cover my face though,. My niece crocheted me a cowl type of scarf that I pull up to my eyeballs, and it provides enough coverage. However, it has stretched and no longer stays up, so I pull up the hood on my coat and tuck it in around my ears,. This Turtle Fur thing looks amazing. I think I just might order one. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  2. As a sign of gratitude for how my husband was saved from neuralgia, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
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