Swollen temples on the side of the head are a result of damage of blood vessels that enable blood flow to the head. This condition is called temporal arteritis. The causes include a faulty immune response and severe infection. Other possible causes include the large intake of antibiotics and polymyalgia rheumatica. It is possible that this condition is hereditary, according to The New York Times.
Symptoms of temporal arteritis include increased sweating, eyesight problems, headaches mostly in the temples, weakness and lack of appetite. Other symptoms include aching muscles, transient jaw pain, bleeding gums, drooping eyelids and temple tenderness. Accurate diagnosis requires a thorough medical examination. Statistics show that 40 percent of people with temporal arteritis experience symptoms such as respiratory complications and nerve pain, states The New York Times.
Diagnosis tests ascertain temporal arteritis include a hemoglobin test, hematocrit test, liver function test, erythrocyte sedimentation rate test and C-reactive protein test. An accurate diagnosis requires an artery biopsy. Treatment is focused on reducing tissue damage. Doctors recommend that treatment commences immediately. If left untreated, this condition results in complications such as aortic aneurysm, blindness and stroke, says Healthline.
Doctors prescribe oral corticosteroids while waiting for diagnosis results. They also recommend aspirin intake for the treatment musculoskeletal symptoms, according to Healthline.