Can Shingles Cause Long Term Problems?

What can happen if shingles are left 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..

How many times can a person get shingles?

The virus can reactivate later, causing shingles. Most people who develop shingles have only one episode during their lifetime. However, you can have shingles more than once.

Can shingles last for months?

In some unlucky folks, shingles pain doesn’t end when the rash goes away. It goes on. And on. This is called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a form of neuropathic pain that can last for months or years, even after the virus is no longer active.

Does shingles cause long term nerve damage?

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.

Is there a connection between shingles and dementia?

According to researchers at the Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea, patients who have left their shingles symptoms untreated have an increased risk of dementia.

Can shingles affect the brain?

In rare cases, shingles can spread into the brain or spinal cord and cause serious complications such as stroke or meningitis (an infection of the membranes outside the brain and spinal cord).

Is nerve damage from shingles permanent?

It’s estimated that up to one in five people with shingles will get post-herpetic neuralgia. Older people 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 having shingles affect your heart?

People who develop shingles have a 59 percent higher risk of heart attack than those who don’t get the viral infection. That’s according to a report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which also claims there’s a 35 percent higher risk of stroke for those who get shingles.

What are the long term effects of shingles?

The most common complication of shingles is long-term nerve pain called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). “Five years later, I still take prescription medication for pain. My shingles rash quickly developed into open, oozing sores that in only a few days required me to be hospitalized.

Can shingles cause other health problems?

Depending on which nerves are affected, shingles can cause an inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), facial paralysis, or hearing or balance problems. Skin infections. If shingles blisters aren’t properly treated, bacterial skin infections may develop.

How long can the shingles virus stay in your body?

Most cases of shingles last 3 to 5 weeks. Shingles follows a pattern: The first sign is often burning or tingling pain; sometimes, it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body. Somewhere between 1 and 5 days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.

Does shingles lower your immune system?

Weakened Immune System There is a clear association between shingles and weakened immunity to infection. 9 Even though the varicella virus is not invading the body for the first time, the immune system still is responsible for keeping it at bay. Sometimes, however, it’s unable to do that.