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Feeling temporal artery pulsation at times of stress and pressure. What is going on?

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My temporal artery behind and upward the ear is moving involuntary and its pressurizing my head when the artery moves. Can you help me and let me know whats going on?
Posted Tue, 13 Nov 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Anantharamakrishnan 2 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.
One may feel temporal artery pulsation at times of stress, headache and so on. There is a less common condition of more concern called Temporal Arteritis...
These sensations could be due to an elevated blood pressure. However, a physical exam would be needed to rule out thickening of the temporal artery ( which is seen in temporal arteritis)
Given that your systolic blood pressure is a bit high, you would need follow up with your physician on this aspect as well. It needs investigations (for base line documentation and for possible treatable causes, in view of your young age).
also, since you are over weight, you need to start reducing - because another problem like blood pressure is newly diagnosed. Most likely, they might have done ECG, Kidney function, Cholesterol and so on.

An Internist is the best person to guide . A physical examination (including the eye - 'fundus') is needed, followed by investigations. Rarely, he may recommend a rheumatologist or neurologist - for favour of further assessment and assistance
Take only simple pain relievers till then. It should take care of the headache.

Take care
Good luck
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Feeling temporal artery pulsation at times of stress and pressure. What is going on? 59 minutes later
I went to neurologist because I had this the stabbing pain on arms, legs, love handles, ankles and thigh and they could not figure out whats wrong so, they did my MRI to rule out any problem and they did rule out any problems like that. Do you think the involuntary moving of the artery on my head is related to stroke or something like that..and you mentioned me to see internist? What internist will do ? and why I need Fundus .. Please reply

Answered by Dr. Anantharamakrishnan 35 minutes later

Thanks for following up,

Stroke is usually due to involvement very small arteries XXXXXXX inside the brain. I don’t think the movement has anything to do with stroke. It is good that a neurologist had seen and MRI was normal.

Fundus can reflect increased intra-cranial pressure. The eye is affected in Temporal Arteritis and hence the need to see. Looking at the fundus is routine and part of any neurological examination – probably, the neurologist has already seen.

An internist gives a comprehensive systemic evaluation of whole body – specialists have a limited field. He may catch a clue from a different system as to the cause or complication. He is the one to suggest basic investigations (blood counts, ESR, sugar etc) and follow up – if need be in liaison with the specialist.

Hope this answers your query. Let me know if you have any other concerns.

Good luck
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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