Temporal Arteritis and Disability BenefitsArteritis is a disorder that is characterized by inflammation in the walls of your arteries. Your arteries are the blood vessels that take oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body from your heart. Inflammation in the walls of your arteries usually develops as a result of infection or a response by your auto-immune system. In this post we specifically cover temporal arteritis. Temporal arteritis is a serious disorder that is marked by an inflammation of the lining of the arteries in your head. This is specifically referring to the arteries in your temples. These are the medium-sized arteries that provide blood for your eyes, head and optic nerves. Temporal arteritis may also be characterized by double or blurred vision, headaches and jaw pain. Temporal arteritis may also lead to stroke and blindness. Temporal arteritis takes place most of the time in people who are over the age of 50. The incidence of temporal arteritis increases as people grow older. In fact, about 20 out of every 100,000 people who are over the age of 50 are affected by temporal arteritis.
Women Get Temporal Arteritis More Than MenWomen are twice as likely to develop temporal arteritis as men are. Caucasians, especially those who are of Scandinavian ancestry, are also afflicted by temporal arteritis more than people of other races. Temporal arteritis is caused by the inflammation of your arteries. However, whatever causes this to take place has not yet been determined. Researchers believe that this inflammation may result in part because of an incorrect response by your immune system. Temporal arteritis may take place in association with or after polymyalgia rheumatica. The incidence of temporal arteritis has also been connected with severe infections and the use of high doses of antibiotics.
What are the signs that I might have temporal arteritis?The primary signs and symptoms of temporal arteritis are tenderness and pain of your head, which are usually very severe. This usually takes place in both of your temples. However, the pain that you have may occur in the front of your head or in just one of your temples. There are other signs and symptoms that are produced by temporal arteritis that may vary from person to person. Some of these possible signs and symptoms are:
- ? Tongue claudication (pain that occurs in your tongue when you are chewing)
- ? Pain and stiffness in your neck, hips or arms that is usually more severe in the morning before you get out of bed than it is at other times
- ? Weight loss that is unintentional
- ? Tenderness of your scalp that causes it to hurt when you lay your head on a pillow or when you comb your hair
- ? Fever
- ? Excessive weakness, tiredness
- ? An excessive amount of sweating
- ? Ringing in your ears (acute tinnitus)
- ? Malaise (a general feeling of not being well)
- ? A throbbing headache on the back of your head or one side of your head
- ? The permanent loss of vision in one of your eyes that takes place suddenly
- ? Jaw claudication (pain that develops in your jaw when you are chewing)
- ? Muscle aches
- ? Joint pain and stiffness
- ? Double or blurred vision.