Temporal arteritis is a condition where the vessels that supply blood to the head, eyes and optic nerves become inflamed and eventually die. The condition is primarily found in the elderly, and women are four times more likely to experience it than men. It can cause serious problems including vision loss.
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One of the most common symptoms of temporal arteritis is frequent headaches. These are most commonly felt around the temple, and are also often accompanied by a sensation of tenderness.
Another symptom is jaw pain, felt either intermittently or when chewing. The cause is that the jaw muscles are not receiving enough blood flow because of the temporal arteritis.
The loss of blood flow can also cause scalp tenderness. In some cases, this may make it painful to comb one's hair or wear a hat.
The lack of blood flow can also cause stiffness and pain in joints such as the neck, arms or hips. This pain can be especially bad in the morning.
The most serious symptom is blurred vision or loss of sight. If left untreated, this can cause permanent damage, but if caught early, it is typically reversible.
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