What Does It Mean When Your Left Temple Hurts?

When your left temple hurts, it can be alarming and distressing. However, according to Medical News Today, this kind of pain is "very common" and tends to stem from stress or tension. The outlet also notes that more often than not, headaches are the culprit — but in rare cases, an underlying condition may be to blame. 

Many individuals suffer from headaches and headache disorders. Some experience headaches on a daily basis, while others get them weekly or monthly. Such pain can not only be uncomfortable but can also prevent people from living a normal and pain-free life. However, it's important to know that there are several different types of headaches that each cause specific types of pain (via Healthline). Additionally, when you have temple pain or even pain on your face, it might be caused by something else entirely, per Medical News Today. So let's get into the specifics of what it might mean when you have left temple pain.

What left temple pain can signify

When your temples are throbbing and you feel like the left side of your head is about to explode, one of the causes can be a tension headache. According to Medical News Today, tension headaches usually result in "vice-like pain in a band around the head" and sometimes "tenderness in the head and neck muscles."  A tension headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 week, depending on how severe it is. 

This type of headache can sometimes expand into a more painful one called a migraine. Doctors usually consult with patients to understand how severe their pain is, and they can then prescribe preventative medication or hormonal treatments (via Medical News Today). 

A migraine is a severe type of headache that starts on one side of your head. Many people often experience migraines for the first time on the left or right side of their head, and from there, it can move to the top, front, and even back of the head. Migraines can also cause other physical symptoms such as neck pain, joint pain, or nausea and vomiting (via Medical News Today). 

Per Medical News Today, migraines come in steps, often beginning with a "prodrome" that eventually turns into a sensory disturbance called an aura. Later, migraines can cause pain and other symptoms, such as "sensitivity to sound, smells, [and] light." In the final "prodrome" stage, people may feel tired and weak and experience trouble concentrating. According to American Migraine Foundation, many migraine sufferers choose to have preventative treatments.

Other causes of left temple pain

Another reason for temple pain on the left side is a cervicogenic headache, which can "stem from a disorder of the cervical spine, injuries to the neck, or arthritis of the upper spine," per Medical News Today. Sometimes, patients who suffer from these headaches are put on medication to block specific nerves in their spine or neck. In addition, physical therapy can be helpful to those who need it. 

A more severe and drastic reason for left temple pain can be from a traumatic brain injury or even a cerebral (brain) aneurysm. When an individual experiences a brain aneurysm, it can cause discomfort and excruciating pain, especially if it bursts or ruptures (via Columbia Neurosurgery). In order to diagnose a brain aneurysm, however, a doctor's appointment is necessary. Diagnosing an aneurysm can be done via CT scan, MRI, or even an angiography. According to Cleveland Clinic, brain aneurysms are extremely dangerous and can result in permanent damage if not treated properly or in a timely fashion.

When you should see a doctor about left temple pain

Having temple pain may seem normal if you are someone who experiences headaches frequently, but if it's excruciating or occurring often, it's best to see a medical professional to ensure that it's nothing serious. Additionally, you'll be able to consult about a treatment plan. Experts say that if your headache and temple pain starts to interfere with your everyday life, it's important to seek medical help (via Medical News Today).

According to Medical News Today, you should seek immediate medical help and attention if you develop "a headache accompanied by vision loss, a loss of consciousness, or vomiting." If your headaches are constantly occurring and nothing is helping, even over-the-counter medication, seeing a doctor isn't the worst thing in the world. You never know — you might figure out a way to make sure your left temple pain stays away for good.