Hello, hope you are enjoying life and living it to the fullest! Do you know about Shingles? Our motto is: “The power of caring!” and one of our goals is to seek answers to your questions.
- Do you know what are Shingles?
- Do you know that seniors can get Shingles?
- Do you know how a senior gets Shingles?
- Do you know the facts, symptoms, complications, and treatment of Shingles?
Please read on for informative and helpful answers.
What are shingles?
Shingles is a skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles is a contagious skin rash that can be spread to a person who isn’t immune to chickenpox. If passed onto a person who isn’t immune to chickenpox, the person develops chickenpox and not shingles. After an individual has chickenpox, this virus lives dormant in the nervous system and is never fully cleared from the body. Under certain circumstances, such as emotional stress, immune deficiency (from AIDS or chemotherapy), or with cancer, the virus reactivates and causes shingles. In most cases of shingles, a cause for the reactivation of the virus is never found. Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk for the development of shingles, although it occurs most commonly in people over the age of 60 (Senior Citizens). It has been estimated that up to one million cases of shingles occur each year in the United Sates.
- If a senior had chickenpox, he/she can get Shingles at any time, without warning. It is a fact that there is no way to predict if a senior will get Shingles, or how severe their case could be.
- It is estimated that every year in the U.S, one million cases of Shingles occur. Just about half of those cases occur in adults 60 years of age or older.
- It is heart wrenching that 1 out of 2 people living to age 85 will have Shingles.
- Even before the rash develops, a senior may feel burning, itching, or tingling in the areas on the body where the rash will form.
- After a few days, a blistering rash will appear on the senior’s skin.
- Please be mindful that the rash will occur on only one side of the body.
- Shingles rash could last up to 30 days.
- For most people, as the rash heals, the pain associated subsides.
- Please be aware that for some people, Shingles may lead to long-term pain that can last for more than 30 days or even years. This is called postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN.
- Scarring on the body
- A bacterial skin infections
- A decrease or loss of vision or hearing
- Some people may develop paralysis on one side of the face
- Weakness in the muscles
- Allodynia (pain from a source that would not normally cause pain — such as pain from a slight breeze over the skin or the touch of clothing on the skin)
- Long-term nerve pain known as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)
While there is no cure for Shingles, you can do the following:
- Talk with the doctor about the Shingles Vaccine
- If a senior has Shingles, the senior could take a cool bath or apply a cool wet compresses on his/her blisters, which may help relieve the itching and pain.
For seniors and senior caregivers, we hope that you find this information helpful. If you are not a senior or senior caregiver, we ask that you share this information with a senior and/or senior caregiver. The power of caring, allows us to share informative and helpful information with others.
We thank you for your time and hope you have learned something new from today’s reading.
Please share your thoughts, tips, and/or any comments you may have regarding Shingles.
Angela McKnight Founder/President, Care About You