Symptoms of GCA can vary depending on the location of the inflammation and may include:
- Pain in the jaw or tongue muscles when eating or talking
- Tenderness of the scalp over the temples
- Loss of vision
- Double vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty with coordination
- Difficulty with balance
Causes and Risk Factors
The cause of GCA is unknown. Because the condition almost always occurs in people over the age of 50 (the average age of patients with GCA is about 70), it may be related to the aging process. Genetic factors may also be involved since the condition is more commonly found in patients of Northern European ancestry. GCA occurs twice as often in women as in men.
The condition is also associated with polymyalgia rheumatica. About 15 percent of patients who have the condition are also diagnosed with GCA.