What It Means When You Can Feel A Pulse In Your Temple

If you've ever attempted to measure your own pulse, you probably pressed your pointer finger and middle finger to the inside of your wrist and steadily counted each throbbing beat. However, did you know that you're not just limited to your wrist when it comes to taking your pulse? Rather, there are many other pulse points that exist elsewhere on the body. According to experts at Penn Medicine, this includes the inner thigh, both sides of the neck, the inner ankle, the top of the foot, and others.

You can also find a pulse above the temporal artery, which emanates from your temple in close proximity to your ear. Because there is a natural pulse that exists here, it's not unusual to feel those sensations upon contact. However, it can be a bit more unusual if you feel your temple pulsating on its own, particularly if the sensation is painful, explains Healthline.

Heart palpitations as a cause of a pulse in your temple

A pulsating temporal artery is not always a red flag. In some cases, a person may just be hyperconscious of their heartbeat, particularly those with heart problems or people who have had a prior cardiovascular event (via Harvard Health Publishing). This may especially be the case at night, when the added pressure of the pillow on the side of the head and the surrounding silence may make one's pulsating temple more noticeable. 

Alternatively, a pulse that you feel coming through your temple on its own could indicate that you're feeling a little bit on edge. According to Healthline, when a person is feeling stressed or anxious, they may experience heart palpitations. These sensations may also be accompanied by pressure or discomfort near the temporal artery. Similarly, your heartbeat may also speed up in the event that you overexert yourself during vigorous exercise. 

While less common, heart palpitations have also been linked to certain health conditions such as anemia, hypoglycemia, and some thyroid disorders. In some cases, a blood vessel abnormality may alternatively be to blame, although this, too, is quite uncommon.

Headaches, arteritis as causes of a pulse in your temple

Certain types of headaches could also be the cause of the pulse in your temple, notes Healthline. This includes migraines and tension headaches. Often targeting the sides of the head, migraine pain can start off mild and grow in intensity. Similarly, tension headaches can also affect the temple area and the pain may wrap around the head like a tight strap.

Additionally, a condition known as temporal arteritis could be what's behind the pulsating in your temple. With this condition, which is characterized by inflammation and reduced blood flow in the temporal arteries, contact with the area can be physically painful. While many people experience throbbing sensations, the pulsations tend to lessen to the point where they're practically imperceptible.

But what about blood pressure? While it's logical to assume that a pulse in the temple might be connected to hypertension, Harvard Health Publishing explains that this probably isn't the case. Rather, one's blood pressure would have to reach an exorbitantly high level before any symptoms became apparent. 

Generally speaking, if the pain of a pulsating temple persists beyond 15 days a month or begins to interfere with your life, be sure to reach out to your physician, advises Healthline. Your doctor can help you determine if there is anything going on that requires medical attention.