Varicella zoster virus or VZV is responsible for causing shingles or herpes zoster in us. It is the virus that causes chickenpox also. It is learnt that after a person recovers from chickenpox the VZV virus would remain dormant in his or her nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain etc. In some persons, the virus could reactivate and lead to shingles also. Factors like ageing, stress, illness or medications etc could lead to weakening of the immune system and this would lead to reactivation of the virus. It is surprising to mention here that not only our skin would get affected due to shingles but even other parts of our body too.

There are few symptoms that are associated with shingles like development of rash on one side of the body, pain, fever etc. Loss of vision also occurs in some rare severe cases.

In these serious ways shingles can affect us beyond skin.

Neurological complications:

The nerves present in us could get affected by shingles and this would lead to complications like postherpetic neuralgia. There would be persistent nerve pain in us.

Vision issues:

The bitter truth is that if shingles occur near the eyes or affect the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve then there could be vision issues. It is highly necessary to consult a doctor to avoid permanent damage to the eyes.

Internal organs get affected:

There are possibilities that shingles could also affect our internal organs and could result in pneumonia, hepatitis etc. Those with weak immune systems might have these issues.

Increased risk of strokes:

In elders, shingles could increase the risk of strokes. It must be noted that the inflammation and vascular damage associated with shingles would be responsible for strokes.

Affects mental health:

Our mental health could get affected badly due to shingles. The person could feel anxious, stressed and depressed. It is essential to seek the help of mental health counsellors etc.

Chronic fatigue syndrome:

After the shingles outbreak, some persons might feel fatigued and very weak called post shingles fatigue or post herpes fatigue.

Reduced life quality:

The quality of lives of shingles affected persons would be poor. This would be due to the pain, discomfort and potential complications of shingles etc. These persons might find it difficult to do their daily activities also and might avoid social interactions etc. These affected individuals must compulsorily seek medical care to manage their symptoms. This would improve their well being.

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