6 Facts About Shingles

Anticonvulsant medicines, such as gabapentin or pregabalin. Experiencing stress or trauma. Having a weakened immune system due to another disease, such as diabetes or HIV infection. People with shingles in or near the eye should see an ophthalmologist immediately. A rash may occur on the forehead, cheek, nose, and around one eye (herpes zoster ophthalmicus), which may threaten your sight unless you get prompt treatment. Swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes may occur. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct shingles research in laboratories at the NIH and also support additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country.

Early symptoms of shingles include headache, sensitivity to light, and flu-like symptoms without a fever. Unfortunately, we can’t say that there’s a particular cutoff or a particular level of efficacy that’s going to prevent this particular pain problem. Sandherr M, Hentrich M, von Lilienfeld-Toal M, et al. Like the chickenpox vaccine, the shingles vaccine doesn’t guarantee you won’t get shingles. If the symptoms last for much longer, you will need to speak to your doctor. Anyone who has had even a mild case of chickenpox can get shingles. Remember Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin supplied by the nerve.

Thanks to research funded by the National Institutes of Health, there is now a vaccine called VZV (Zostavax) that can help prevent shingles in people 60 and older. Yes. Some people have seen some positive results owing to the vaccine though others have developed side effects that can be unpleasant. It’s possible that you could also feel dizzy or weak. The word shingles comes from the Latin word for belt because thats often the shape of the rash. When the nerve to the ear is affected, it can permanently damage hearing or balance and cause facial problems. These medications may alleviate discomfort as well as shorten the virus’s lifespan.


Symptoms include one-sided hearing loss, nearby facial paralysis, difficulty closing an eye, ear pain and/or ringing, loss of taste in front of the tongue, and rash. The name of the test that checks for the presence of the varicella virus in the body is the Tzanck Test. Chickenpox is characterized by one to two days of mild fever up to 102 degrees F, but a fever is less common with shingles. People without the virus in their system won’t develop shingles. My latest bout of shingles meant I had to take time off work and take painkillers to manage the pain. Unfortunately, the CDC identifies a loss of effectiveness within five years of vaccination. It is also estimated by some experts that over half the total number of people above the age of 80 will develop Shingles.

In some cases, all contact should be avoided. This vaccine is approved by The United States Food and Drug Administration. You have a cough, chills, or a fever. When I looked up the causes of lymph node swelling, lymphoma was very prevalent. But prompt treatment with an antiviral drug can lessen the duration of the illness and the risk of complications. Apply disinfectant to surfaces with clean sponge or cloth. In most cases shingles runs its course, goes away and never comes back.

Within two weeks, about half the children came down with chickenpox. Shingles also occur following immunosuppression such as in cancer patients or patients taking steroids, Bailey said. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. After the acute infection, the varicella zoster virus gains access to the ganglia in the sensory nervous system where it can remain dormant for years. The next most common location is on one side of the forehead or around one eye. However, you cannot get shingles from someone with shingles.

The shingles vaccine temporarily “protects” about half of those vaccinated (CDC, 2011). It is also called herpes zoster. But study author Dr. The chicken pox virus also known as Varicella zoster can come back as shingles when you age and when your immune system is weakened. Important Safety Information ZOSTAVAX does not protect everyone, so some people who get the vaccine may still get Shingles. After a person has had chickenpox, VZV remains in a dormant (inactive) state in the nerve roots for the rest of their life. Shingles, also referred to as Herpes Zosters, is an excruciating condition that comes about as a result of being infected by the varicella zoster virus [1].

For kids born before the chickenpox vaccine, getting the disease (and spending hours soaking in a baking-soda bath) was a normal part of childhood. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, are small, painful skin lesions caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, the varicella zoster virus (VZV). What Causes Shingles? Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it.