What is Temporal Arteritis?
This is a serious disorder that causes damage and chronic inflammation of your medium and large arteries of your head. These are the arteries that supply the oxygenated blood to portions of your brain and head and branch out from your neck. It can also affect your temporal arteries. These are the arteries that run over your temple areas that are next to your eyes. It can also affect other large to medium arteries throughout your body. It is a disorder that is uncommon. Two of the other medical names this medical disorder is known by are giant cell arteritis or cranial arteritis. It is mostly found in people that are over the age of sixty. Women, more than men, are four times more likely to be affected by temporal arteritis. It is also a rare medical condition in African American people.
The symptoms that are associated with temporal arteritis can affect many parts of your body and may include:
- Having double or blurred vision
- Having a cough
- Sweating excessively
- Weakness and fatigue
- Having a fever
- Having pain or stiffness in your shoulder, hips, neck, and other joints
- Having pain in your jaw when chewing
- Weight loss that is not intentional
- Appetite that is poor
- Scalp sensitivity or pain when the scalp is touched
- Pain in your throat
- Pain on your tongue
- Headache that throbs, especially if is on the back of your head or on one side
- Generally not feeling well
- Muscle aches
- Gums that bleed
- Loss of hearing
- Sores in your mouth
There are symptoms that could be an indication of a condition that is life-threatening like blindness or stroke. If you have any of these symptoms you should get medical care immediately.
- Any change in your level of alertness or consciousness like being unresponsive or passing out
- Any behavior change or mental status that is sudden like lethargy, delusions, confusion, etc
- Facial drooping
- Numbness, the inability, or paralysis of any body part
- Slurred or garbled speech or not being able to speak
- Any change in vision that is sudden
In some cases the only symptom that a person might have is a fever that is persistent with no other symptoms.
Although the exact cause of temporal arteritis is unknown a person gets this medical condition when an artery or arteries become tender, inflamed, and swollen. Some physicians feel that a person gets this medical condition because an immune response is faulty making it an autoimmune disorder. It has also been associated with using a high dosage of antibiotics or having a severe infection. It can also develop after or along with polymyalgia rheumatica which is an inflammatory disorder that involves stiffness and pain in your shoulder and hip. There is also some evidence that it may run in families. Having this medical condition affects the blood flow through your arteries disrupting the ability to supply nutrients and oxygen adequately to your head and brain. Age may also be a factor/cause in developing this condition as people diagnosed with it are usually older than sixty years of age.
This medical condition is curable and treatable. In order to reduce, even possibly eliminate symptoms temporal arteritis needs to be diagnosed early so treatment can be started early. Diagnosing and treating temporal arteritis early is very critical to prevent complications that can be serious like blindness and strokes. It may be necessary to have treatment on a long term basis. The main goal is help reduce the damage to your tissues because the of the decreased blood flow.
One of the treatments that may be used is:
Taking high doses of prednisone, which is a corticosteroid medication. It helps to suppress the inflammation of your arteries and your immune system that is overactive. Unfortunately taking prednisone can have some undesirable side effects like your susceptibility to any infection is increased. If you are taking this medication you need o make sure that you are taking it as prescribed and keeping all doctor appointments so your physician can monitor the side effects and adjust your dosage if necessary.
You may need to take a corticosteroid medication for one or two years with the dosage slowly being reduced. Most people will recover completely but it could return.
Temporal Arteritis Pictures
Images, Pics and Photos of Temporal Arteritis…