It is common to feel pain in the temples. Although there are many causes, temple pain is most commonly caused by tension or stress. Although rare, temple pain may be caused by an underlying medical condition.
Sometimes, over-the-counter pain medications and lifestyle changes can relieve pain in the temples. It is a good idea, however, to seek medical attention if there are any other symptoms or concerns.
A migraine is characterized by throbbing pain in your temples, particularly on one side. According to the Harvard Special Health Report Headache relief, throbbing that becomes a continuous headache and is accompanied by pain when your temples touch the ground, could be indicative of temporal arthritis.
This article will discuss possible causes of temple discomfort. We will also discuss the symptoms and treatments available, as well as when it is best to consult a doctor.
Table of Contents
- 1 What can cause pain in the temple?
- 1.1 Tension headache
- 1.2 Migraine
- 1.3 Cervicogenic headache
- 1.4 Giant cell arteritis
- 1.5 Mild traumatic brain injuries
- 1.6 Cerebral aneurysm
- 1.7 Brain tumor
- 2 Headache on the left side
- 3 Tips to getting rid of headaches
- 4 When should you call your doctor?
What can cause pain in the temple?
Pain in the temples can occur from many causes such as giant cell arteritis, mild traumatic brain injury, brain aneurysm, or even tooth extraction. Here is a list of the main causes of headaches or temples
Tension headaches can cause vice-like pain around the head. Tenderness can also occur in the neck and head muscles.
Although these headaches can last up to 30 minutes, severe tension headaches can last up to a week.
Tension headaches can cause mild to moderate pain. These headaches do not worsen with exercise, so most people can continue with their daily lives.
Tension headaches, unlike other types, do not cause nausea and vomiting. However, some people may experience increased sensitivity to light or noise.
The doctor will examine the patient’s medical history and look at their symptoms.
Tension headaches are not diagnosed by any specific tests. They can also be hard to distinguish from migraines.
A doctor might recommend preventive treatment if tension headaches are severe and persistent. This could include amitriptyline, as well as relaxation and massage therapy.
Tension headaches that are not frequent and therefore severe may be treated with an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen, or another anti-inflammatory medication.
Migraine headaches typically start on one side. They can also be moved from one side of the head to another, usually behind the eye.
Migraine headaches can begin as a dull, dull feeling that then becomes a pulsing sensation. Some people feel pressure or pain in their temples.
The following stages may be present in a migraine episode. They are distinguished by symptoms changing.
Prodrome: This stage may include sensitivity to light, sound, tiredness, and mood changes.
Aura: A migraine aura refers to a sensory disturbance. An aura can be visual and involve lines or lights in the field of vision. The aura could also be physical and cause pins-and-needles sensations. One-third of migraine sufferers are affected by auras.
Headache: Migraine headaches are characterized by severe pain that worsens with movement. You may experience nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, smells, sound, or a combination thereof.
Postdrome: The last stage of a migraine episode may include tiredness, difficulty concentrating, weakness, and dizziness.
Migraine may cause severe headaches on the left side. This condition affects 12% of people in the United States. It is common among 17% of women and 6% of men.
Migraine headaches can throb or be more severe on one side. The pain could start around the temple or eye and then spread to the rest of the head.
Other symptoms of migraine include:
- Vision changes
- Nausea and vomiting
Extreme sensitivity to sound and light, touch, smell, touch, or smell
A tingling sensation or feeling of numbness in the extremities or face
A rare form of migraine called hemiplegic can cause weakness in the face and limbs on one side of your body.
An average migraine episode lasts 472 hours. A person might need to rest in a darkened area until their symptoms subside.
Although experts are unable to pinpoint the cause, it is clear that genetic and environmental factors play a part.
- These are some common triggers:
- Stress is a factor in 88% of cases
- Hormonal changes are present in 65% of cases
- Certain foods like alcohol, cheese, or chocolate are not allowed.
- Sleeping too much or too few hours
- Bright lights or flickering lights
- Perfumes and other odors
There is no way to diagnose migraine.
A doctor will need to know the exact nature of migraine headaches, their frequency, and how they interfere with daily life.
A doctor can recommend the best treatment by keeping a log of your symptoms and medications. An MRI or CAT scan may be performed to rule out other causes.
These treatments are helpful when someone is suffering from a migraine episode.
- Sleep – This could end a mild episode.
- Analgesics and antiemetics include metoclopramide, Fioricet, and Fiorinal.
- Triptans – Examples include sumatriptan and zolmitriptan.
Triptans should be avoided if you have or are at risk for cardiac ischemia.
Botox injections may also be used to alleviate migraines. Botox can be injected by a healthcare professional around the neck, head, and shoulders to prevent muscle contractions.
These medications can help to prevent migraine episodes.
- Tricyclics such as nortriptyline or amitriptyline are tricyclics.
- Propranolol is a beta-blocker
- Anticonvulsants such as topiramate are available if none of the other options work.
- Fremanezumab-vfrm or erenumab
Cervicogenic headaches can be caused by injuries to the neck or a disorder in the cervical spine.
This type of headache may be caused by an injury to your neck, such as whiplash or arthritis, or any other changes in the vertebrae.
The pain may be managed with steroid injections or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil). Cervicogenic headaches will disappear in 3 months. However, they can recur.
Although the pain and other symptoms can be cyclical, they may flare up occasionally. However, it is possible for them to occur at different times.
A cervicogenic headache may present as:
- Pain on one side, perhaps in the temple
- A stiff neck is a sign of weakness
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to sound and light
- A reduced range of motion in the neck
- A headache that worsens with certain neck movements
After reviewing the patient’s medical history, and symptoms, a doctor will diagnose a cervicogenic migraine.
Treatment to treat cervicogenic headaches includes:
- Medicines, including nerve blockers
- Physical therapy
Giant cell arteritis
Giant cell arteritis (GCA), which causes blood vessel inflammation, is also known as giant cell arteritis. The result is intense, burning, and pulsating pain. Although the pain is most common in the temples it can also spread throughout the head.
These are some of the most common symptoms:
- Tenderness at the temples or scalp
- Chewing causes pain in the jaw
- A fever
- A loss of appetite
- Weight loss
GCA can cause blurring, double vision, or loss of sight in rare cases. It is crucial to get a quick diagnosis and treatment immediately in order to prevent this.
GCA is not something doctors know about.
To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will perform a blood test as well as a biopsy. The doctor will order immediate treatment.
GCA can be helped by high doses of steroids such as prednisone. The treatment will be continued for one month until the symptoms disappear.
The doctor will then gradually decrease the dose. The treatment should last approximately 1 year to prevent a recurrence.
Side effects of steroids include:
- Weight gain
- An increased chance of infection
- Muscle weakness
- bone loss
- Elevated blood sugar levels
Calcium and Vitamin D supplements can help to prevent bone loss.
Tocilizumab, another treatment for GCA is administered by a healthcare provider as a series.
GCA can cause vision loss that is irreversible.
Mild traumatic brain injuries
An impact on the head can cause mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Tension headaches account for around 85% of the headaches caused by a TBI. This pain can be felt anywhere on the head, even the temples.
Doctors may order MRI or CAT scans after a mild TBI to check for blood clots and bruising.
A neurologist may be needed if the patient has memory problems, visual disturbances, persistent headaches, or dizziness.
A person may recover from a TBI by taking some time off.
It is crucial that the patient follows their healthcare provider’s instructions after a TBI.
These could include:
- A reduced caffeine intake
Mild TBI may lead to tension headaches. Physical therapy might help.
A cerebral aneurysm refers to a weak and bulging area within the wall of an artery that runs through the brain. It can cause a severe headache if it bursts. Any artery can become aneurysmal in the brain.
An aneurysm in the brain is a weakness in a blood vessel. It rarely causes symptoms, unless it ruptures. A potentially fatal hemorrhage could occur in this situation.
Thunderclap headaches can be a sudden, severe form of pain. The person may feel like they’ve been hit on the head and may also experience weakness on one side.
You may also experience the following symptoms:
- Vision changes
- Stiffness or pain in the neck
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Loss of consciousness
- Eye pain
- Aneurysm ruptures can cause severe headaches.
To diagnose an aneurysm, doctors use the following tests:
- Digital Subtraction Angiography: This creates an image of blood vessels in the brain.
- CT scan: This provides a more detailed image that can be used to detect irregularities.
- MRI can reveal small changes in brain tissue.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: This is where intravenous dye is used to make blood vessels visible on scans.
An aneurysm can be treated with surgery. There are two types of this treatment:
- An open craniotomy is a procedure that uses a metal clip to stop blood flow to aneurysms.
- Endovascular coiling is the process of inserting soft coils into a catheter to prevent aneurysms from rupturing.
A brain tumor refers to an abnormally large number of brain cells. Symptoms can include:
- There is confusion
Doctors can use a variety of imaging techniques to diagnose brain tumors. These include CT, PET, and MRI scans.
A biopsy may be recommended by a doctor to confirm the diagnosis. This is however a dangerous procedure.
Brain tumors are usually treated by doctors with:
- Surgery – The neurosurgeon will remove the largest amount of tumor possible, without causing damage to the surrounding brain tissue.
- Radiation – This can shrink tumors and kill cancerous cells.
- Chemotherapy: This causes cancerous cells to die.
Headache on the left side
A headache that occurs on the left side can have many causes. Knowing the causes and how to treat them can help you manage your pain and when to seek professional assistance.
A staggering 50% percent of adults have a headache disorder. While some headaches can be treated at home, others require medical attention.
Seek medical attention if you experience a headache with blurred vision, nausea, or other symptoms that cause concern.
Emergency care is required for anyone who experiences a severe headache, weakness, or confusion on one side of their body, as well as sudden headaches.
This article will discuss the causes and treatment of headaches. You will also find information on when to visit a doctor.
There are many types of headaches that can cause pain to the left side. These include migraines and cluster headaches. These are described in detail below.
Doctors classify headaches either as “primary” (or “secondary”) in that the primary symptom is pain. Secondary headaches are caused by another health problem, such as:
- A brain tumor
- A stroke
- An infection
These headaches can happen in any area, even the left side.
In addition to the reasons mentioned in the section “What can cause pain in the temple?” above, pain in the left temple can also be due to the following causes:
Cluster headaches can lead to severe pain, sometimes around the eyes, on one side or the other of the head. It can feel very sharp, burning, or piercing.
Cluster headaches affect about 1% of people in the United States. Cluster headaches are characterized by recurring episodes that last between 4-12 weeks and then cease for several years. They can often affect the same side every time.
These are some of the common features:
- Pain behind one eye, one temple, or one side.
- Pain that begins at night, usually within 1-2 hours of going to bed
- Pain that intensifies after 5-10 minutes
- Severe pain lasting between 30-60 minutes
- You may feel less severe pain for as long as 3 hours.
May also be a related symptom.
- A blocked nose or runny nose
- A drooping lid
- Watering and redness in the one eye
- A flushed or sweaty complexion
Although the exact cause of the condition is not known, experts believe it to be a brain area called the hypothalamus, along with the nerves, blood vessels, and nerves of the trigeminal systems, which can affect the eyes and face.
Cluster headaches can often occur at the same moment each day. These headaches may be more common in spring and fall. People may mistake them for allergy headaches.
A condition where the body reacts as though its blood vessels are contaminated can cause an autoimmune attack. This is known as vasculitis. It is a form of blood vessel inflammation.
Giant cell arteritis (also known as temporal arteritis) is a common form of vasculitis. This can affect the blood vessels of the head. This is most common in those over 50 years.
Vasculitis can lead to a severe headache similar to a thunderclap headache. There is usually no cause. Thunderclap headaches are intense and last at least five minutes. Similar headaches caused by vasculitis may take longer to develop.
You may also experience the following symptoms:
- Sudden loss of vision
- Pain on either the left or right side of the head
- Pain when chewing
These symptoms should be reported to a doctor immediately. Not treating the vasculitis can result in permanent vision loss.
Tips to getting rid of headaches
Headaches happen. There are simple ways to relieve pain without visiting the doctor. These tips will help you feel better quickly.
Use a cold pack
A cold pack can be placed on the forehead of anyone suffering from a headache. The pain can be relieved by using ice cubes, wrapped in towels, frozen vegetables, or even a cold shower. The compress should be kept on the head for at least 15 minutes. After that, take a break and rest for another 15 minutes.
Use a Heating Pad or Hot Compress
A heating pad can be placed on the neck or back of your head if you are suffering from a tension headache. Warm up the area where you feel pain if you have a Sinus headache. Warm showers might be able to help.
Ease Pressure on Your Scalp or Head
A headache could be caused by a tight ponytail. You can also get “external compression headaches” by wearing a hat or a headband.
Dim the lights
Migraine headaches can be caused by bright or flickering light, even from your computer monitor. Cover your windows with blackout curtains if you are prone to them. Wear sunglasses outdoors. Your computer might have an anti-glare screen. You can also use daylight-spectrum fluorescent lamps in your light fixtures.
Try Not to Chew
Chewing gum can cause damage to your head and jaw. Chewing your fingers, your lips, the inside of your cheeks, or other handy objects such as pens can cause damage. Take small bites of crunchy or sticky foods. Ask your dentist to install a mouthguard if you grind your teeth late at night. This could help reduce your headaches in the morning.
Get plenty of fluids. Dehydration may cause a headache, or worsen an existing one.
Get Some Caffeine
You can try some coffee, tea, or anything with caffeine. It can help with headache pain if you take it in the morning before the pain gets worse. It can also take over-the-counter pain reliefs such as acetaminophen more effective. Caffeine withdrawal can lead to headaches if you drink too much.
It doesn’t matter if you do stretches, yoga, or meditation. Learning how to relax when you are having a headache can reduce the pain. If you experience muscle spasms in the neck, talk to your doctor.
Massages are a great option
It is possible to do it yourself. Tension headaches may be relieved by a few minutes of massaging your temples, forehead, and neck. You can also apply gentle rotation pressure to the affected area.
Take Some Ginger
Recent research has shown that ginger, along with regular over-the-counter pain meds, can reduce migraine pain in patients in the ER. One study found that ginger worked as well as prescription medication for migraines. You can also try a tea or supplement.
Take your medication in moderation
All types of headaches can be relieved by pain relief products found in pharmacies. Follow these guidelines and the instructions on the label to get the best results with minimal risk.
- Choose liquid over pills. It is easier for your body to absorb it.
- If you are suffering from kidney failure, or heart disease, avoid ibuprofen ( nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
- Under 18 years of age, do not give Aspirin.
- As soon as your pain starts to get worse, take painkillers immediately. It’s likely that you will beat it with a lower dose than if you wait.
- Ask your doctor if you feel sick or nauseated from a headache.
- Ask your doctor about what you can do to prevent a rebound headache. This is pain that occurs after taking painkillers for a few days.
Talk to your doctor about headache symptoms that you shouldn’t treat at home.
When should you call your doctor?
You should immediately seek medical attention for:
- A headache following a brain injury
- A headache and dizziness, confusion, speech problems, or any other neurological symptoms are all possible.
- Sudden, severe headache
- Even after taking pain medication, a headache can still get worse