Primary Care: Shingles

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What is shingles? Shingles is a painful, blistering rash that can last several weeks. Although it usually occurs in one part of the body, such as the torso, shingles can also affect the face and eyes. People who suffer from shingles have described their pain in many ways. Some say the pain burns or throbs. Others say it stabs, shoots, and/or feels sharp. Severe pain can result from things as minor as a breeze or the touch of clothing against the skin. Seeing a local family physician or local pharmacist can help with perscriptions

If you get shingles even though you have been vaccinated, see your healthcare provider promptly. Don’t wait for you or someone you love to develop shingles. If you’re 50 years or over, ask your doctor or pharmacist about the shingles vaccine. Seeing a local  family physician and or pharmacist can help you with treatment.

Can shingles cause other complications? In addition to severe pain, people with shingles 
may experience:
• Scarring
• Bacterial skin infections
• Weakness
• Muscle paralysis
• Loss of hearing or vision

Am I at risk? Approximately 95% of Canadian adults have had chickenpox and so is at risk for developing shingles. Medical experts have estimated that the lifetime risk of getting shingles is as high as 1 in 3…and your risk increases after 50 years of age. For people who reach 85 years of age, 1 in 2 will have developed shingles. Seeing a local family physician or local pharmacist can help with perscriptions

Print this Action Plan and check off items that you want to discuss with your healthcare provider

  • The chronic pain from shingles is hard to treat and leads to huge problems for patients. Ask your health provider about how the shingles vaccination can reduce your risk of chronic shingles pain or post herpetic neuralgia

  • Even if you have had shingles, speak to your family doctor about the benefits of re-vaccination

  • f you are 50 years and over you should be asking your healthcare practitioner, nurse, pharmacist or family physician about getting vaccinated against shingles, Seeing a local family physician or local pharmacist can help with perscriptions

Adherence:
Adhering to your medications, prescribed exercises or lifestyle changes (such as dietary changes, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption, etc.) is essential to improving health outcomes successfully. Compliance to any prescribed treatment is the number one thing you can do to ensure positive changes and optimal treatment outcomes. Seeing a local family physician or local pharmacist can help with perscriptions

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