Temporal arteritis is a condition in which the temporal arteries, which supply blood to the head and brain, become inflamed or damaged. It is also known as cranial arteritis or giant cell arteritis. Although this condition usually occurs in the temporal arteries, it can occur in almost any medium to large artery in the body.
The journal Arthritis & Rheumatology states that approximately 228,000 people in the United States are affected by temporal arteritis. According to the American College of Rheumatology, people over the age of 50 are more likely than younger people to develop the condition. Women are also more likely than men to have temporal arteritis. It is most prevalent in people of northern European or Scandinavian descent.
Although the exact cause of the condition is unknown, it may be linked to the body’s autoimmune response. Also, excessive doses of antibiotics and certain severe infections have been linked to temporal arteritis. There’s no known prevention. However, once diagnosed, temporal arteritis can be treated to minimize complications.