Shingles is a viral infection that flares up many years after your senior first contracted it as chickenpox. Once someone experiences a shingles outbreak, they’re likely to keep experiencing periodic outbreaks. Recognizing the symptoms of shingles quickly can help your elderly family member to get treatment much earlier in the outbreak, which might cause it to be less painful for her.
Here are some of the signs to watch out for…
One of the most visible symptoms of shingles is the blistery, red rash that forms as a result of the viral infections. The rash may not be the first symptom you’re senior experiences, but it might be the first symptom that you’re aware of. The rash itself usually forms on one side of the face or the torso. It can last for up to four weeks.
Pain, Numbness, and Tingling
Before the rash, your senior might mention some odd sensations. She might have burning pain or tingling on one side of her face or torso. That area is usually where the blistery rash forms later on. She might also feel numb in some of those same areas. The pain usually continues throughout the duration of the rash.
The human body’s response to infections of all kinds is to turn up the temperature. That means your senior experiences a fever. While this is her body’s way of trying to evict the virus, it doesn’t usually do anything other than making you’re senior feel uncomfortable. Her doctor may recommend over-the-counter fever remedies to help bring her temperature down.
General Weakness and Exhaustion
Your senior may find that she feels weaker than usual and extremely tired. Her body is fighting a huge battle against a virus that’s doing a lot of damage to her skin and to the nerves in that area. Battling the virus takes a lot of energy, but so does the healing that she has to do from the rash. Your senior may find that during an outbreak, she’s not able to do nearly as much as she regularly would.
If your senior is dealing with a shingles outbreak, talk to her doctor. Antiviral medicines won’t cure the virus, but they can cause it to go dormant again. Something else to consider is bringing in, home care providers. Your senior may need a lot more extra help while she’s recovering, and home care services are the perfect answer.