Giant Cell Arteritis Diagnosis:
A detailed eye examination is done to identify giant cell arteritis. Along with the examination, visual acquity and eye pressure is also measured. Any damage to the retina as well as the optic nerve is also noted. The head is also examined and if the head is touched, the scalp looks tender and sensitive on one side and it also has weak pulse or no pulse at all.
The blood is also tested to confirm giant cell arteritis and if it is normal, the body is free from arteritis. One may need a biopsy, if the test is abnormal, to confirm blood test findings. If the artery has inflammation, steroid treatment is done.
MRI is also done to analyse the health of arteries and visual field test is done to see loss of peripheral vision.
Giant Cell Arteritis Treatment:
Steroid tablets are prescribed to ease this condition and it is important to treat this condition as soon as possible to prevent vision loss. The treatment can last for two years and one may feel well right after the start of treatment. The vision also gets stabilized. When you are on medication, your doctor closely monitors it. There are some side effects, when a person is using steroid medicines.
Tocilizumab is a drug approved by FDA which is used to treat giant cell arteritis. It is injected into the body and it may be not suitable for people who are having some other diseases.
Consult your doctor to know more about giant cell arteritis.