Are you over the age of 50 and have suffered from chickenpox before? If so, you may be at risk of developing shingles.
Shingle is a viral infection that can be a serious health concern for anyone over 50 who has previously suffered from chickenpox. If you are in this category, you must ask your doctor about your risk of getting shingles and how to protect yourself.
It is the same varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox which causes shingles. If you have had chickenpox before, the virus can remain inactive in your nervous system for years and then reactivate as shingles. While shingles are typically not life-threatening, they can cause serious complications such as blindness, hearing problems, and even death in rare cases. Plus, it is possible to have shingles more than once during your lifetime, and the risk of nerve pain due to shingles increases with age.
More than 90% of adults over 50 are protected against shingles by shingles vaccines. Moreover, vaccination can provide immunity for up to 10 years after vaccination. So, do not hesitate to ask your doctor about ways to prevent shingles.
Factors that may increase your risk of shingles
Talk to your doctor if you are unsure whether you should get vaccinated. Shingles vaccination is generally safe and well-tolerated, with only mild side effects such as soreness at the injection site, headache, or fatigue. Most of these side effects disappear within a few days.