What You Should Know About Shingles

home health care RIEven the best home health care RI has to offer cannot prevent some health problems. Sometimes illnesses occur that we don’t have much control over preventing. Those chicken pox you had as a kid may come back to greet you again.

Shingles. Even the name does not sound appealing. While chickenpox, caused by the same virus that causes shingles occurs most commonly in children, this strain of the virus is more prevalent in people over 50. Older adults can be attacked due to weakened immune systems from illness, injury, stress, certain medications and other factors.

Typically if you had the chickenpox as a child you expect not to get it again, but it can strike later in life when the dormant virus emerges as shingles. About 20 percent of people who have had chickenpox in the past will get shingles.

If you see the following symptoms you definitely want to have them checked out by a health care professional. The first signs include a red rash in a band or small area on one side of the face or body. It will burn, itch, tingle or bring upon shooting pains.  Some people experience the pain without the rash or develop a headache, fever, chills and aches. Next, a cluster of small blisters appear, filled with fluid. They will take two to three weeks to heal. Although the blisters may have gone, the pain can still remain for months. If shingles affects a nerve in your face you may experience additional symptoms such as loss of hearing, drooping eyelids, vision problems, and problems moving your facial muscles.

It is a long, drawn out illness, but the good news is most people fully recover and do not get it again. Another sliver of a silver lining is another person cannot catch shingles from you. However, fluid from the blisters can cause chickenpox in anyone who has never had them or been vaccinated.

With the help of family or home health care caregivers, shingles outbreaks can be recognized, treated and taken care of properly. It is important to take any medications given for treatment, such as pain medication, antiviral drugs, and skin treatments properly.

To head off the shingles virus, a shingles vaccine is recommended for anyone over 60. It will reduce the likelihood of developing shingles and speed healing if it is contracted.

This entry was posted in In The Know, Rhode Island. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.