Can you get permanent damage from shingles?
When you picture harmful infections, shingles is probably not the first one that comes to mind. Yet, while the illness may seem to “just” cause an irritating rash, pain, itching and tingling, it can also cause permanent damage. Some patients may even deal with constant pain for years after infection.
Does shingles ever leave your body?
Shingles is caused by the same virus, the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). After you recover from chickenpox, the virus continues to live in some of your nerve cells. It is usually inactive, so you don’t even know it’s there.
What damage does shingles do to the body?
Body systems that can be affected include the eyes, nervous system, lungs, liver, and brain. Internal shingles can cause symptoms such as persistent pain, fever, cough, abdominal pain, and headache. When shingles affects internal organs, it’s a serious complication that requires urgent medical attention.
How do you fix nerve damage after shingles?
Treatment options for PHN patients include:
- Intercostal nerve blocks: A local anesthetic can be injected between two ribs.
- Thoracic epidural injections: Anti-inflammatory medicine can be injected into the space around the spinal cord to decrease nerve root inflammation and reduce pain.
Can shingle pain last for years?
Postherpetic neuralgia occurs if your nerve fibers are damaged during an outbreak of shingles. Damaged fibers can’t send messages from your skin to your brain as they normally do. Instead, the messages become confused and exaggerated, causing chronic, often excruciating pain that can last months — or even years.
What happens if you let shingles go untreated?
If left untreated, some complications of shingles can be fatal. Pneumonia, encephalitis, stroke, and bacterial infections can cause your body to go into shock or sepsis.
What are the final stages of shingles?
The 4 stages of shingles and how the condition progresses
- The stages of shingles are tingling pain, followed by a burning feeling and a red rash, then blistering, and finally the blisters will crust over.
- You will typically develop a rash about 1-5 days after you feel numbness or tingling pain.
What causes shingles to flare up again?
Stress, some medications, and certain health conditions can reactivate the virus and trigger the symptoms of shingles. When shingles occurs more than once, doctors refer to it as recurrent shingles. Recurrent shingles is more common among people with a compromised immune system.
Is nerve damage from shingles permanent?
Around one in five people with shingles will get post-herpetic neuralgia. People age 50 and over are particularly at risk. Many people with post-herpetic neuralgia make a full recovery within a year. But symptoms occasionally last for several years or may be permanent.
Can your stomach swell with shingles?
Point to remember: A motor neuropathy associated with truncal herpes zoster may result in abdominal muscle weakness, appearing as a bulge, known as post-herpetic abdominal pseudohernia.
How do I know if nerve damage is healing?
How do I know the nerve is recovering? As your nerve recovers, the area the nerve supplies may feel quite unpleasant and tingly. This may be accompanied by an electric shock sensation at the level of the growing nerve fibres; the location of this sensation should move as the nerve heals and grows.
Why won’t my shingles go away?
When the pain caused by shingles doesn’t go away after the rash and blisters clear up, the condition is called postherpetic neuralgia. Postherpetic neuralgia is the most common shingles complication. It occurs when a shingles outbreak damages the nerves.