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Jonathan Fay, M.D.
Jonathan Fay, M.D., Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 537
Experience:  Physician health consultant
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A vein is popping from my forehead. Why?

Customer Question

Does it mean anything when a vein has popped out on my forehead? When I press on it I can feel my pulse. Is there any cause for concern?

Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Jonathan Fay, M.D. replied 11 years ago.


Is this vein on your forehead or on the side of your head? Are there any other symptoms? Do you have any other health problems? Did anything set this off?
Let me know, and I'll get back to you.


Customer: replied 11 years ago.

It is right above my temple. I have a slight headache. My family says I may have high blood pressure. I don't remember if anything set it off.

Expert:  Jonathan Fay, M.D. replied 11 years ago.

O.K. You need to get to an emergency room immediately. You are describing symptoms that could be very consistent with something called temporal arteritis - inflammation of the temporal arteries, that can lead to blindness and other disability if not promptly treated. I know this, not only because I'm a physician, but also because my grandmother developed this and it was undiagnosed. She lost her vision.

It is not known why this inflammation occurs, but the combination of a swollen and hard artery and headache like you describe is the classic description for this disease. So do not wait, do not hesitate, and get to an emergency room immediately. Tell them that you have a swollen artery on the side of your head, and a headache, and that you are concerned about temporal arteritis. They should be willing to see you immediately and begin the workup for this.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions - I'm more than happy to try and help. But please, do not hesitate, and go to the Emergency department immediately.

Take care

Customer: replied 11 years ago.

I don't think that it is that serious. My headaches are slight, and the vein is on the right side of my forehead.

Expert:  Jonathan Fay, M.D. replied 11 years ago.

Here's a nice image of where the temporal artery sits on the head:

Take a look at this description of some of the symptoms (temporal arteritis is also called giant cell arteritis):

If you don't think that it fits, then at your own discretion, you should not follow my advice. The headaches of temporal arteritis are not always severe, and the symptoms can be mild. But it does lead to blindness.

Take a look, and see what you think. If there is any possibility, you should get to an Emergency room. Better safe than sorry.

Take care

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Jonathan Fay, M.D.'s Post: Can the vein be small in size? Thank ou for the pictures, but mine isn't quite that big.
Expert:  Jonathan Fay, M.D. replied 11 years ago.

If it pulsates, it is an artery, not a vein. And yes, the artery isn't all that big.