Three Surprising Dangers of Shingles

by - Wednesday, January 02, 2019


Shingles is a disease striking mainly people over sixty. It's caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, which most of us contract some time during childhood. Shingles usually starts as a skin rash and then causes shooting pains in the body; while the legs are the most common part to be affected, it can also appear on the neck, torso and other body parts. While the disease can be extremely painful which is bad enough within itself, there are also side effects that can cause additional damage. 

Problems with Shingles Vaccine 
Many health care providers recommend that older adults get the shingles vaccine. The newest vaccine is called Shingrix, and it can have serious side effects. While many of the problems have been associated with administration errors, the vaccine can cause problems. About 16 percent of people getting this vaccine develop fatigue, headaches, skin rashes and joint pain to the point that they have to stop working for a few days. Yet, doctors recommend it over the older alternative because it is about 40 percent more effective. The second option is Zostavax. This drug that is effective in stopping shingles about 50 percent of the time also has many different side effects. Some who have gotten this injection have filed a Zostavax lawsuit. Since this vaccine has the live virus in it, the injection can cause shingles instead of stopping yet. Yet, the drug's manufacturer failed to make this known to those receiving the vaccine. 

Postherpetic Neuralgia 
When some people get shingles, then damage is done to the nerves. Even a long time after the blisters and skin rash has disappeared, people can still experience shooting pain. This condition called postherpetic neuralgia develops because the nerves have become confused and send out major pain signals when they should be sending minor ones or none at all. This condition is present in about 20 percent of all people having shingles. The main method of treating this condition is to give the patient opioids that can cause dependency in some individuals. Others get anticonvulsants to calm nerves or steroids injected around the spinal column. Still, others are treated with skin patches containing anesthetics. 

Vision Loss 
Shingles located near or in the eye can result in vision loss. Sometimes shingles can cause damage to the optic nerve causing glaucoma. Vision loss from glaucoma cannot be restored. Doctors, however, try to prevent further damage from happening. Usually, a patient must take eye vitamins or eye drops for the remainder of their lives. Shingles can also cause corneal ulcers. These open sores on the cornea can be extremely painful. There may also be pus constantly draining from the eye. Shingles can also cause acute retinal necrosis. This disease often leads to retinal detachment. All three of these conditions can lead to blindness. 

If you think you have been injured by getting the shingles vaccine, then contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Otherwise, contact your medical provider. Discuss with them the effects of the vaccines and your likelihood of getting shingles. If you think that you already have shingles, then seek treatment immediately to prevent complications. Since shingles can be highly contagious, it is important that you stay away from people including new parents.

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