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What causes temporal arteritis in elderly?

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Posted on Mon, 27 Apr 2015
Question: Hi,

I am a 50 year old female. About a week ago I began having the following symptoms:

1. Felt like brusing on my left temple and terrible headache on left side of head.
2. Left temple area swollen and a little blue and sensitive to the touch.
3. Blurred vision (I thought I needed new readers - a stronger strength, but that didn't help).
4. Upset stomach. Feeling like I may get sick.
5. Jaw pain radiating through both sides (not sure if that is related and only happned the last few nights).

Thanks,
XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (21 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Probable temporal arteritis.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

I think that considering the unilateral temple headache, visual symptoms, jaw pain, it could well be the case of a diagnosis of temporal arteritis (Giant Cell Arteritis), which is an inflammation/swelling of the blood vessels.

You are fairly young as usually it appears after the age of 60, very rarely before 50, but still the symptoms are very suggestive of this diagnosis.

For this reason I suggested you see a doctor immediately as failure to diagnose and treat can have consequences. If the doctor after physically examining you will suspect the same diagnosis he will ask for blood tests for signs of inflammation (erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C reactive protein elevation). If in doubt other tests (ultrasound, temporal artery biopsy, CT or MRI) might be performed.
If diagnosis is confirmed corticosteroid treatment is necessary.

I remain at your disposal for further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3668 Questions

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What causes temporal arteritis in elderly?

Brief Answer: Probable temporal arteritis. Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. I think that considering the unilateral temple headache, visual symptoms, jaw pain, it could well be the case of a diagnosis of temporal arteritis (Giant Cell Arteritis), which is an inflammation/swelling of the blood vessels. You are fairly young as usually it appears after the age of 60, very rarely before 50, but still the symptoms are very suggestive of this diagnosis. For this reason I suggested you see a doctor immediately as failure to diagnose and treat can have consequences. If the doctor after physically examining you will suspect the same diagnosis he will ask for blood tests for signs of inflammation (erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C reactive protein elevation). If in doubt other tests (ultrasound, temporal artery biopsy, CT or MRI) might be performed. If diagnosis is confirmed corticosteroid treatment is necessary. I remain at your disposal for further questions.