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Doctor Ellis
Doctor Ellis, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 886
Experience:  Board Certified Family Medicine Doctor
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My left temple is swollen and tender. I have pain there, as

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My left temple is swollen and tender. I have pain there, as well as my left eye, the left side of my jaw and neck, and my left ear. This pain has been recurring for a while now, and is getting progressively worse over time, to the point that it is interfering with everything.I've seen an oral surgeon; he said I need to wear some bite-protector when I sleep. I can't afford that. My PCP says it's just a swollen blood vessel, but to me that seems like something that shouldn't be called "just." The pain has become unbearable. Should I be worried? Who (what sort of doctor) should really be looking at this?

Although it is typically more rare in your age group it sounds like you may be suffering from Temporal Arteritis. This is an inflammation in the artery that runs along your temple. It needs to be diagnosed and treated to prevent any damage from decreased blood flow to the area. Diagnosis is by blood tests for ESR and CRP (markers of inflammation) but the definitive diagnosis is by a biopsy of the artery.

Your doctor may want to start you on steroids and aspirin even before the diagnosis is made to prevent damage and decrease the swelling.


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Another possibility to consider (only after the first one is ruled out) is that you are suffering from TMJ - inflammation in your Jaw joint by your temple. This can be treated with a mouth guard at night to prevent grinding and anti-inflammatories.



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Good Luck and Best Wishes!

Feel free to ask if you have more questions....

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
They've wanted to put me on steroids in the past (for severe lower back pain), but did not because I have diabetes.

Additionally, they took me off of daily aspirin because I'm taking Celebrex daily.

I feel like I'm being brushed off by my doctors on this, but I'm in serious pain! It's even gettting hard to think, or answer right away when people talk to me, because the pain is interfering.

Is this a matter for my Primary, or should I see a specialist? And if so, what sort?

You should start with your primary, or see a rheumatologist.

If you need treatment for temporal arteritis then you will need to take steroids and aspirin regardless of your diabetes and you will have to put a hold on the celebrex in the short term.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Since I have to wait till tomorrow to call my Rheumatologist (I haven't seen him in about a year, in the past he got me started on meds for my fibro-myalgia)... what is the best thing to do about the pain I'm in right now? iow, what would be most likely to actually help? My options are: imitrex, hydrocodone, or fioricet.

I would not take the celebrex and take ibuprofen instead - take it with food and take at least 600mg every 6 hours or so.

You can take the hydrocodone as well if needed, but the anti-inflammatory is what you need.


Good Luck! I hope you feel better!

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