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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

What Causes Temple Headaches?

A temple headache is a condition in which there is pain and pressure in the temples and the head. Temple headaches are triggered by different causes. Most people suffer from temple headaches occasionally, however, the repetitive occurrence can be a cause of concern. The treatment of temple headaches is decided on the basis of the cause. The following are causes of temple headaches


A migraine can cause temple headaches. In case of a migraine, the pain which is felt is pulsating and severe. When a migraine attack occurs, the pain is usually felt on one side of the head. However, it can be felt on both sides. Other accompanying symptoms can be:

⦁ Depression ⦁ Fatigue ⦁ Light sensitivity ⦁ Seeing flashing lights ⦁ Eye irritation ⦁ Vomiting ⦁ Nausea ⦁ Irritability

Migraine induced temple headaches can last for a long period. In severe cases, they can last up to 24 hours.

The treatment is based on the severity of the pain. If you feel that the pain is due to migraine then see a doctor. The common drugs used for treatment include analgesic agents and selective serotonin receptor agonists.

Tension Headaches and Stress

A tension headache is characterized by a non-throbbing mild pain in the head. It can cause temple headaches. The exact cause of tension headaches is not known. It is widely accepted that tension headaches are triggered due to stress.

An increased stress level can cause discomfort which can lead to a temple headache. Stress in itself can cause direct pain and pressure in the temple resulting in a temple headache.

Tension headaches have the following symptoms:

⦁ Forehead pain ⦁ Pain in the neck ⦁ Feeling external pressure against your head.

Tension headaches usually resolve on their own with the help of rest. Over-the-counter painkillers are also effective. Stress relief can be helpful in reducing these headaches. If these headaches are occurring for more than 15 days then you should consult a doctor.

Temporal Arteritis

Temporal arteritis is a condition in which the arteries in and around the scalp are inflamed. Temporal arteritis causes temple headaches. The cause of this condition is not known. The pain in this condition feels like a migraine along with tenderness in the temples. Other symptoms include the following:

A person holding a thermometer.

Credits: Pexels Caption: A high fever with a temple headache can be symptoms of temporal arteritis

⦁ Fever ⦁ Reduction in Appetite ⦁ Weight Loss ⦁ Jaw pain

⦁ Tenderness in the temples

It is a serious condition which requires immediate medical attention. The arteries carry blood to the brain and eyes. A complete blockage can result in visual impairment and a stroke.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis involves tests. The first one is a blood sedimentation rate test which is used to check whether the artery is inflamed. The second type of test is a biopsy which is used as a confirmatory test. The treatment focuses on using steroids for reducing the inflammation.

Eye Strain

Eye strain is a condition in which the fatigue of eyes causes discomfort. Eye strain occurs due to overusing of the eyes. Excessive time spent in front of a screen is a common cause of eye strain. Eye strain is accompanied by temple headaches.

The other symptoms of eye strain include:

⦁ Itching in eyes ⦁ Redness in eyes ⦁ Sore neck and back ⦁ Difficulty in concentrating ⦁ Blurred vision ⦁ Double vision

Eye strain is treated with rest and lifestyle changes which focus on reducing the strain on the eyes.

A person looking at a phone.

Credits: Pexels Caption: Excessive screen time leads to eye strain which can cause temple headaches.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

It is a condition in which the temporomandibular joint is affected and causes pain. This joint connects the jawbone to the skull. The condition can be caused by arthritis, injury as well as genetic factors. Temple headaches can be caused by these disorders.

Other accompanying symptoms are:

⦁ Jaw Pain ⦁ Tenderness in jaw ⦁ Pain in temples ⦁ Difficulty in chewing ⦁ Jaw locking ⦁ Facial Pain

A person holding his face.

Credits: Pexels Caption: Jaw and facial pain can be symptoms of Temporomandibular joint disorder.

This condition can be diagnosed by a doctor and a dentist. It usually resolves on its own. In severe cases, the following treatment options can be used: ⦁ Muscle relaxants ⦁ Rehabilitation Therapy ⦁ Corticosteroids ⦁ Arthroscopic Surgery


The causes of temple headaches range from mild to severe. Treatment options can only be used after the identification of the cause. If the occurrence is rare then you can try and manage them with over-the-counter medication and rest. However, temple headaches are accompanied by other symptoms or occur frequently then consult a doctor immediately.

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