Shingles is a viral infection that makes a painful rash. Although shingles can arise anywhere on the body, shingles rarely comes as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of the torso. Shingles is created by the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that is responsible for chickenpox. After you have had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain. Years later, the infection may further activate as shingles. While shingles is not a fatal condition, shingles can be excruciating. Vaccines can help to minimize the chance of shingles, while immediate treatment can help to shorten a shingles infection and reduce the chance of complications.
Symptoms of Shingles Disease
The signs and symptoms of shingles disease typically influence only a small part of one side of the body. These signs and symptoms may contain:
1) Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
2) Sensitivity to touch
3) A red rash that starts a few days after the pain
4) Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
Some people also feel:
3) Sensitivity to light
4) Fatigue uneasiness
Pain is generally the first symptom of shingles. For some, it can be intense. Based on the location of the pain, it can often be mistaken for a symptom of problems influencing the heart, lungs, or kidneys. Some people feel shingles pain without ever growing the rash. Most commonly, the shingles rash becomes a stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or right side of the torso. Often the shingles rash arises around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.
Shingles Disease Causes
Shingles caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that forms chickenpox. Anyone who had chickenpox may arise shingles. After you revive from chickenpox, the virus can enter the nervous system and lie inactive for years.
Ultimately, it may further activate and visit along nerve routes to the skin generating shingles causes. But, not everyone who had chickenpox will promote shingles.
The reason for shingles is not apparent. But it may be due to lower immunity to infections as you grow older. Causes of Shingles is more widespread in older adults and in people who have inadequate immune systems.
Varicella-zoster is part of a group of viruses known as herpes viruses, which involves the infections that make cold sores and genital herpes. Because of this, shingles is also called herpes zoster. But the virus that makes chickenpox and shingles is not the same virus responsible for cold sores or genital herpes disease, which is a sexually transmitted infection.
Complications of Shingles Disease
Complications of Shingles disease can involve the following
1)Postherpetic neuralgia: For some people, shingles pain lasts long after the blisters have cleared. This situation is called postherpetic neuralgia, and it happens when damaged nerve fibers send confused and exaggerated messages of pain from the skin to the brain.
2) Vision Loss: Shingles in or around an eye can make painful eye infections that may affect the outcome in vision loss.
3) Neurological Problems: Based on which nerves are influenced, shingles can create an inflammation of the brain like encephalitis disease, facial paralysis, or hearing or balance problems.
4) Skin infections: If shingles blisters are not adequately treated, bacterial skin infections may develop.
Typically Shingles diagnosis is based on the history of pain on one side of the body, along with the telltale rash and blisters. The doctor may also take a tissue scraping or culture of the blisters for a test in the laboratory.
Treatment of Shingles Disease
There is no cure for shingles, but proper treatment of shingles disease with prescription antiviral drugs can speed up the healing process and minimize the chance of complications. Shingles treatment typically continues between two and six weeks. Most people get shingles only once, but it is possible to affect it two or more times.
Prevention of Shingles Disease
Two vaccines may help to prevent shingles disease in the chickenpox vaccine and the shingles vaccine.