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Temporal Arteritis

Temporal Arteritis, Symptoms and Causes

Temporal Arteritis Definition

Temporal arteritis is inflammation and damage to blood vessels that supply the head area, particularly the large or medium arteries that branch from the main carotid artery in the neck. When the arteries in the neck, upper body and arms are inflamed, the condition is called giant cell arteritis. The condition generally affects people older than 50, but there have been cases of temporal arteritis in younger people. Even though the condition usually occurs in the neck, temporal arteritis sometimes can be a systemic disorder that affects many medium and large sized arteries throughout the body.

Temporal Arteritis Symptoms

There are a number of temporal arteritis symptoms including:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Excessive weakness or tiredness
  • General ill feeling
  • Throbbing headache on one side of the head or the back of the head
  • Intermittent jaw pain or when chewing
  • Scalp sensitivity
  • Vision difficulties
  • Blindness in one or both eyes
  • Unintentional weight loss of over 5% of total body weight
  • Pain and stiffness in the mouth, face and joints
  • Paralysis of the eye muscles in rare cases

Temporal Arteritis Causes

Temporal arteritis can occur when one or more arteries become inflamed and die. The exact cause is unknown, but the condition has been linked to faulty immune responses, severe infections and high doses of antibiotics. Temporal arteritis seems to run in families.