Nerve Damage From Shingles

It is estimated that around one million individuals in the U.S. are affected by shingles.

This viral disease is cased by the virus called herpes zoster, which is a similar virus to the one that causes chickenpox.

Shingles only affects individuals who have suffered already from chickenpox. The first time that it attacks the body chickenpox results.

It stays inside of a patient's body after it has recovered from chickenpox.

Then afer staying inside of a patient's body in the nerve cells in a weak form, herpes zoster may become active once again years later and cause what is called shingles.

It is estimated that one out of five individuals who end up recovering from shingles get what is called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN).

This condition is caused by a shingle infection that destroys the body's nerves. It is a condition that may lead to pain that is excruciating and cause a great deal of discomfort.

Fortunately, it is possible to treat PHN or use some certain drugs to prevent it.

Some studies have shown that certain medications may be used for reducing the risk that a person will be affected by post-herpetic neuralgia.

These medications include

  • Famvir
  • Zovirax
  • Valtrex

Doctors recommend that the medications be taken within the first three days after suffering from a shingles attack.

Normally whenever a herpes zoster virus that was inactive gets activated, it start to damage nerves and cause pain.

The condition PHN may interfere with an individual's daily activities such as sleeping and dressing.

If you start to feel the following post-herpetic neuralgia symptoms, you should immediately see your doctor for treatment:

  • Increased sensitivity for pain
  • Itchiness
  • Unending and excess pain under your skin 

This condition may make an individual feel very unsettled and tired the entire day if it isn’t immediately treated.

Before you are treated, your doctor might make an assessment of your medical history first to determine the number of times that shingles have attacked you.

Medication that is given following a PHN attack might not completely eliminate your pain but it can help to reduce it.

A different pain is caused by PHN, and in most cases may not be reduced by common painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.

After this condition is developed, most people will fully recover within a year and a half.

PHN, so far, is the most serious condition that shingles causes. The condition manifests as itchiness and pain after you have recovered from shingles.

After it is reactivated, the herpes zoster virus immediately multiples inside the nerve, which causes swelling and damages the point inside of the nerve.

This damage results in the individual feeling pain underneath the skin that is affected. The virus continues moving along the nerve and causes damage.

Rashes appear on the skin that are due to nerve damage being caused by the herpes zoster virus.

Post-herpetic neuralgia patients common use the following words to describe this kind of pain: aching, burning, excruciating, throbbing and sharp.

Making sure you get vaccinated for shingles is the best method for avoiding PHN and also helps to preventing against having a shingles attack. If by any chance you are risk, your best option for preventing it is via vaccination.

If you happen to have severe PHN it is always possible to see a neurologist who will be able to help you determine the best way to deal with it.

There are pain experts as well who can help in some form. PHN and shingles are two conditions which can turn your life into a living hell, particularly if you are depressed or stressed.

Don’t allow the herpes zoster virus time to keep making your life even worse through damaging nerves. Getting treatment immediately can help to sooth the itchiness and pain that this virus causes.

In order to reduce the possibility of subsequent PHN, the condition should be treated as soon as you see rashes appearing on your skin.

It should be treated within the first days of noticing the rash. Don’t give the virus the opportunity to spread and cause you to develop pain, fatigue and sleeping problems.

If the nerve that herpes zoster damages is the one that controls muscle movement, you might end up experiencing weakness in muscle support and movement.

It is recommended that people over 60 years old get vaccinated, even if they haven’t suffered from shingles before.

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