Symptoms of temporal arteritis may develop rapidly -- in some people, overnight. In other people, symptoms develop more gradually. Common symptoms include:
- One-sided severe headache
- Pain in the temples, especially when chewing
- Tenderness in the temple area
- Blurred or double vision
- Pain in the jaw and tongue
- Low-grade fever
- Body aches
- Muscle pain
- Weight loss
- Vision loss
- Dementia (in rare cases).
These possible symptoms are not sure signs of temporal arteritis. Other problems can also cause these symptoms. Anyone with potential symptoms should see their doctor so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible.
No single test is available to definitively diagnose temporal arteritis. To make a diagnosis, a physician considers the person's medical history, including reported symptoms, results of the physical exam, blood tests that can rule out other possible diagnoses, and results of other procedures, including a temporal artery biopsy.
Temporal arteritis carries a small but definite risk of blindness. This blindness is permanent once it happens. In order to prevent this, temporal arteritis treatment uses a high dose of prednisone, which is a corticosteroid medicine. This treatment should be started as soon as possible, perhaps even before the diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy.