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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can severe pain in head, face and neck be considered as symptoms of giant cell arteritis or temporal arteritis?

I have most of the symptoms for Giant Cell Arteritis , Temporal Arteritis. At a follow up from cataract surgery with my Ophthalmologist he was very concerned about the previous mentioned conditioned. I had blood work that included SED rate & CRP. Those appear to be in range. Still very severe Pain right side head, face , neck, etc. My PCP s office hasn t even called (they are to busy) after 2 messages I left. It s Friday afternoon, should I call again and ask for further tests to be scheduled (and if so what tests?) or just go to emergency room? Any opinion would be appreciated. Thank you, Pam Mayer
Wed, 11 Dec 2013
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Pathologist and Microbiologist 's  Response
Hi Pam!
Welcome to HCM!
Your ESR & CRP are within range while in Giant Cell Arteritis , Temporal Arteritis they are usually elevated.As it's localized on one side, it's probably a migraine. That occurs when nerves in the brain stem become overexcited (any cause from skipping meals to stress). And that leads to dilation of blood vessels in the brain causing the pain.Aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen may help relieve mild migraines.
However you must visit your doctor and get examined to rule out giant cell arteritis.
Take care!
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