Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Temporal Arteritis

Temporal Arteritis
Temporal Arteritis
Temporal Arteritis
Temporal Arteritis

Temporal arteritis is a headache located mainly in the area of the temples.  The headache usually occurs around age fifty or sixty and has a female preponderance.  A large proportion of these patients also suffer from polymyalgia rheumatica.  The headache is usually described as continuous, aching and of moderate severity.  The patient may also complain of soreness of the scalp as well as headache.  Intermittent jaw claudication (difficulty chewing) is one of the hallmarks of this disease.  Other symptoms of the disease include muscle aching, morning stiffness, weight loss, malaise and depression.  An elevated erthrocyte sedimentation rate on laboratory exam is common in this condition.  A temporal artery biopsy is necessary to definitively diagnose the condition.  An MRI of the brain may be needed to exclude life-threatening intracranial diseases.  The treatment of temporal arteritis is the administration of corticosteroids.  The administration of these medications is not without side effects and should only be undertaken with the supervision of a physician.  Diagnosis and treatment of temporal arteritis is critical because of the risk of loss of vision without treatment.

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