Senior Alternatives

Care Management and Home Care Services
Shingles Awareness – Know the Facts!

August 11, 2023

– As we age, our immune response weakens, thus increasing the risk of developing Shingles – a painful, blistering rash caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus, the same virus responsible for chickenpox.

The Effects of Shingles:

During the initial exposure to chickenpox, some of the virus particles settle into the nerve cells around the spinal cord and brain. When the virus reactivates – sometimes decades later as a result of things like stress – it travels down those nerve fibers to the skin. As the virus multiplies, the telltale rash erupts and this is when Shingles develops.   Shingles can cause a variety of symptoms, from mild itching and tingling to intense burning or stabbing pain. Sometimes fluid-filled blister occur. The rash typically presents on one side of the body or face and can lead to severe pain, itching, and burning sensations. Complications can include postherpetic neuralgia, where severe pain persists well after the rash has cleared, and ocular shingles, which can cause vision loss if left untreated. Unfortunately, some people experience persistent nerve pain that can linger for weeks or months.

Preventative Measures:

While Shingles can occur at any age, the risk significantly increases as we grow older. Therefore, to protect our health and mitigate the risks associated with Shingles, vaccination is a critical preventive measure. It is important to talk to your doctor about the Shingles Vaccine, which can help reduce the risk of developing the condition.  Some people may not be able to tolerate the vaccine which involves two doses, with the second dose administered two to six months following the first. Each injection only takes a few minutes, and the side effects are generally mild, including a sore arm from the injection, fatigue, muscle pain, chills, fever, and upset stomach. It’s important to get both doses to ensure full protection. There are also treatments available for those who already have shingles such as antiviral medications and topical creams.  The Shingles vaccine is highly recommended for individuals above the age of 50. It can help reduce the risk of contracting Shingles and may also prevent or lessen the severity of compliation form the virus.

At Senior Alternatives, we’re committed to raising awareness about Shingles and the importance of vaccination. We believe that through education and increased understanding about the condition and its potential complications, we can empower people to take proactive steps towards prevention. This way, we not only spread knowledge, but also debunk myths and misconceptions about the disease and vaccination. It’s our firm belief that everyone deserves to age healthily and enjoy a robust quality of life, and we’re dedicated to doing our part in making this a reality.

To schedule a free 45 minute consultation about this and other related topics, reach out to us @ 888.451.4290 – We are here to help family members with any challenges related to caring for a loved one.

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