Logo


Google+
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 13:03

Shingles Risk Factors, Prevention and Treatment

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Shingles is a viral infection that can affect anyone who has had chickenpox. It isn't known what triggers the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that causes shingles.

The symptoms of shingles include sensitivity to touch, tingling, itching and a painful rash that often appears as a stripe of blisters along one or both sides of the torso. Pain may persist even after the rash subsides. Shingles is not a life-threatening condition but can cause complications, including:

Postherpetic Neuralgia - A condition where damaged nerve fibers cause exaggerated messages of pain from nerve endings in the skin to the brain.

Vision Loss - When shingles occurs near the eye it can cause painful infections that may result in vision loss.

Neurological Problems - Shingles can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, facial paralysis, or hearing or balance problems.

Skin Infections - When shingles blisters do not heal properly it can result in bacterial infections.

If you suspect you have shingles, see your doctor, especially if any of the following symptoms are present:

  • The pain and rash occur near an eye
  • You are over 70 years old
  • You have a weakened immune system due to another medical condition

Preventing Shingles

The primary defense against shingles is vaccination. Adults 60 years old and older should receive the shingles vaccine.

Children should receive the chickenpox vaccine to reduce their risk of developing shingles in adulthood.

Treating Shingles

Treatments include pain relief and antiviral medications such as acyclovir or valacyclovir. Over-the-counter pain medicines, including acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can also help reduce the pain caused by shingles. 

Read 416 times
Flu Shots

Patient Testimonials

"Whether I’m the first appointment in the morning or the last appointment in the afternoon, the doctors at Parkway Family Physician are always pleasant, calm and acts as though they have all the time in the world for me.  Before finding Parkway Family Physicians, I once saw a doctor who rushed into the exam room, coat tails flapping behind him, as he dictated notes from the previous patient. That entire appointment was a bit like being hit by a whirlwind.  I prefer Parkway calm.”

PrimaCare