Giant cell arteritis (GCA), also known as temporal arteritis, is a condition that can be a great threat to your sight.

It affects large and medium sized arteries in your body; in particular, the arteries in your neck and head. GCA is sometimes referred to as temporal arteritis, as one of the more commonly affected arteries is the temporal artery at the side of your forehead (temple).

In GCA, the artery walls become inflamed (arteritis) with large inflammatory cells (giant cells). The inflammation causes the affected arteries to become swollen, greatly restricting the blood flow through them. This reduction in blood supply is known as ischaemia. If the blood flow becomes too restricted, the structures supplied by these arteries will be affected. If the artery which supplies the eye is affected, then this can cause permanent sight loss in that eye.

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