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Can shingles damage your heart?

Shingles can cause potential damage to the heart, but it is not the virus itself that has the potential to do so. It is due to the inflammation and irritation that occurs as a result of the virus spreading.

When shingles develop, the virus can spread in the body and cause inflammation of vessels and nerves that lead to the heart. This can cause inflammation of the heart wall, known as myocarditis, as well as inflammation of the valves that control the flow of blood.

In extreme cases, these inflammations can cause damage or blockage to the heart and lead to complications like heart failure.

It is important to seek medical help as soon as any symptoms of shingles develop, and to ensure that the virus is diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. Treatment typically involves the use of antiviral medication, which can help to reduce the risk of complications and slow the progress of the virus itself.

In addition, individuals with shingles may also need to adjust their lifestyle habits, such as decreasing stress, exercising more, and eating a healthier diet.

Does shingles cause back and chest pain?

Yes, shingles can cause back and chest pain. Pain is one of the most common symptoms of shingles and it most often occurs in the area where the skin rash of shingles appears. The pain can sometimes be severe and may include a burning or stabbing sensation.

It may be localized to the affected area or spread to other parts of the body, including the back and chest. In some cases, the pain may last for weeks or even months after the rash has gone away. Other symptoms of shingles may include headaches, fever, chills, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right away.

What are the worst side effects of shingles?

The worst side effects of shingles can have a significant effect on quality of life. The most common and often the most severe side effect is persistent, severe, and long-term pain. This is known as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) which can last for months or even years after the shingles rash has gone away.

Other severe and long-term side effects can include:

– Loss of vision and blindness due to damage to eyes and corneas

– Skin infection and scars

– Hearing loss due to damage to the nerves in the ear

– Nerve and brain damage if left untreated

– Internal organ damage if shingles affects internal tissues

– Depression and anxiety due to pain, discomfort and other physical symptoms

– Increased risk of stroke and heart attack

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of shingles, as treatment can help reduce the risk of these severe and long-term side effects.

How long do you feel unwell with shingles?

The duration of the illness is highly variable and depends on several factors. In general, the illness may last for up to 4 weeks, but it can also last for months. It is important to note that symptoms may persist for even longer after the virus has been cleared from your body.

Factors that may influence the length of the illness include the severity of the symptoms, the age of the person affected, the type of shingles virus, and the treatment given.

During the acute phase, the rash generally heals within one to three weeks. The associated burning, tingling, and itching often persists for several weeks, and the pain may last several weeks to several months.

In some cases, the virus may cause postherpetic neuralgia which is ongoing pain, discomfort, and/or sensitivity to light even after the rash has completely healed. Postherpetic neuralgia can last for months or even years.

Therefore, the exact duration of shingles is unpredictable and can last from a couple of weeks to several months. However, it is important to consult a doctor if the symptoms worsen or persist for longer than expected to ensure that adequate treatment is provided.

How do they test for internal shingles?

The usual method for testing for internal shingles is for a doctor to take a sample of fluid from the affected area, then use a procedure called a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to look for the presence of the herpes zoster virus.

This PCR test is available at most hospitals and can be completed usually within an hour. In some cases, the doctor may order a blood test to look for antibodies that would indicate the presence of the virus.

If a person has genital shingles, they may also get a swab taken of the affected area to test for the presence of the virus in that area. Lastly, a doctor may order an imaging test such as a CT scan or MRI to look at the affected area to see if there is spread to other areas of the body or any evidence of inflammation.

What do shingles inside your body feel like?

Shingles inside the body can cause a burning sensation, aching, and itching. Depending on the severity and location of the shingles, other symptoms may include pain, numbness, tingling, and sensitivity to the touch.

In addition to the physical discomfort that shingles can cause, those affected may also experience feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression related to their condition. People with shingles may find that the affected area of skin feels raw and sensitive, making even the lightest touch hurtful and uncomfortable.

In more serious cases, the affected area can become red, swollen, and blistered, making it painful to even move or wear clothing.

How long does it take for shingles to get out of your system?

The amount of time it takes for shingles to get out of your system will vary depending on the individual, but typically it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months for full recovery. During the healing process, the rash will gradually fade and eventually disappear, however, it’s important to note that some people can experience lingering symptoms such as aching, burning, or tingling sensations.

The duration of these symptoms can also vary from person to person. Additionally, it is possible for some people to develop a painful condition known as post-herpetic neuralgia, which is caused by nerve damage and can cause intense burning, itching, and shooting pains.

Certain complications can arise if shingles is not properly treated, and in some cases, antiviral drugs can be prescribed to reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. Finally, it is important that all shingles sufferers get plenty of rest and stay well hydrated, as these factors can help speed up the healing process.

Can you have shortness of breath with shingles?

Yes, it is possible to have shortness of breath with shingles. This is due to the inflammation of the lungs caused by the shingles virus. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, chest pain, and a constant feeling of exhaustion.

Additionally, the inflammation caused by the virus can lead to a decrease in oxygen levels in the body, which can cause shortness of breath. It is important to seek medical help if you are experiencing any of these signs as they may indicate a more serious condition.

Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to help reduce the symptoms of shingles and may also advise lifestyle changes to help reduce the severity of the infection.

Is there a connection between shingles and stroke?

Yes, there is evidence that suggests a link between shingles and stroke. Studies have found that people who have had shingles in the past are between two and three times more likely to experience a stroke.

The reason for this link is that shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which has been linked to inflammation of the arteries, leading to stroke. Because of this link, people who have had shingles in the past, or those who have been vaccinated against the virus, are advised to take steps to reduce their risk of stroke, such as by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and not smoking.

Additionally, those who have had shingles should inform their doctor if they have any signs and symptoms of stroke, such as slurred speech, sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg, or sudden confusion.

What permanent damage can shingles cause?

Shingles can cause permanent damage to an individual in multiple ways. The most serious complication, postherpetic neuralgia, is caused by damage to nerve fibers. This is a chronic pain condition in which nerve fibers are damaged and the person experiences ongoing pain long after the shingles rash has healed.

Other permanent sequelae include scarring, skin discoloration, and sensory problems. Shingles can also cause sensitivity to light, itching, burning or tingling in areas of the skin that are affected.

In rare cases, it can cause damage to the eyes, leading to vision loss. It may cause nerve damage that can lead to numbness and muscle weakness, and can even cause paralysis. In very rare cases, it can also cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can be deadly if left untreated.

How do you know if you have permanent nerve damage from shingles?

Certain indicators can help determine if one has experienced permanent nerve damage from shingles. The first indicator is the presence of residual pain after the shingles rash has disappeared, known as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).

PHN affects 20-40% of people who have had shingles and can cause pain, numbness, and sensitivity to touch in the area of the rash, or sometimes on other areas of the body. It can last for months or years, which is a sign of permanent nerve damage.

In addition, symptoms such as burning, aching, sharp and stabbing sensations, extreme sensitivity to touch, changes in skin temperature and color, and an increase in pain levels due to movement can be an indication of permanent nerve damage.

A national survey in 2017 showed that approximately 20 percent of people who experienced PHN had persistent nerve pain six months after the onset of shingles.

A healthcare provider should be seen if any of these symptoms occur as they can provide treatment options and lifestyle adjustments to help manage the nerve pain and potential damage. Diagnostic tests such as an electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests can be used to measure the electrical activity in the affected nerves, which indicate if there has been permanent damage.

Do you ever fully recover from shingles?

Yes, it is possible to fully recover from shingles. Depending on the severity of the case, someone may need medical attention or to take antiviral medications for a few weeks. Once the shingles rash has cleared, a person may still feel burning, tingling, and itching sensations.

This is why most people are encouraged to seek medical attention, even if the rash has disappeared.

Once the virus is no longer present it is impossible to pass it on to another person. Therefore, recovering from shingles means becoming immune to it, which is something that can occur naturally. In order to avoid re-infection, it is recommended to have the shingles vaccine.

The pain, itchiness, and duration of symptoms can vary greatly, but the best way to ensure full recovery is to receive appropriate medical treatment. It is advised to have active rest or light physical activity with the permission of your doctor to help muscle stiffness and pain.