Shingles is a common viral infection that affects one in three people at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your Trophy Club, TX, family medicine providers at Trophy Club Family Medicine, Dr. David Yi, Dr. Paula Lansford-Seabaugh, and Carol Addy PA-C, can help you manage the uncomfortable symptoms of shingles if you ever get the infection.
What causes shingles?
The varicella-zoster virus responsible for chickenpox doesn't disappear completely after you've had the childhood disease. Instead, the virus settles into nerve tissues near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus can reactivate, causing shingles.
What are the signs and symptoms of shingles?
A few days before the characteristic shingles rash appears, you may experience pain or burning in the spots where the rash will eventually form. Depending on the location of the pain, you may think you pulled a muscle or might even be worried that you have a heart or lung issue if the pain is in your chest or back.
Soon, red, fluid-filled blisters will develop on one side of your body. The blisters may eventually break open and become crusty. In addition to the rash, you may experience:
- Pain, which may be severe, shooting, or burning
- Numbness and tingling
- Light sensitivity
Your rash may be so sensitive that wearing clothes or even sleeping under a light sheet is incredibly uncomfortable.
How are shingles treated?
Although there is no cure for shingles, your provider can offer treatments to improve your comfort. It's particularly important to call the Trophy Club, TX, family medicine practice if the rash develops near your eye. If the infection reaches your eye, you may develop an eye infection or vision complications.
Your provider can offer several antiviral drugs that can reduce the severity and duration of the infection and decrease the risk of complications. These medications are most effective if taken within 48 hours after the shingles rash appears. Medications and patches that help ease or numb shingles pain may also be prescribed.
Are you concerned about a painful rash or other possible shingle symptoms? Call your family medicine providers at Trophy Club Family Medicine in Trophy Club, TX, Dr. Yi, Dr. Lansford-Seabaugh, and PA-C Addy, at 817-430-9111 to schedule an appointment.