Quick Answer: Can Shingles Cause Nerve Damage?

Can stress cause postherpetic neuralgia?

Studies have shown that stress also can lead to lingering complications from shingles.

Some researchers have found that people under stress are more likely to experience prolonged pain as a result of postherpetic neuralgia, a complication in which shingles pain persists long after the rash has cleared..

Can nerve pain from shingles come back?

In very rare cases pain can come back after a shingles infection, even if it had already gone away and the rash has disappeared. The main symptom of post-herpetic neuralgia is pain in the nerves (neuralgia). The skin is often overly sensitive and itchy as well.

Do damaged nerves ever heal?

If a nerve is injured but not cut, your injury is more likely to heal. Injuries in which the nerve has been completely severed are very difficult to treat and recovery may not be possible. Your doctor will determine your treatment based on the extent and cause of your injury and how well the nerve is healing.

Is there a cure for postherpetic neuralgia?

The risk of postherpetic neuralgia increases with age, primarily affecting people older than 60. There’s no cure, but treatments can ease symptoms. For most people, postherpetic neuralgia improves over time.

What does shingles do to your nerves?

Shingles is the reactivation of a viral infection in the nerves to the skin that causes pain, burning, or a tingling sensation, along with an itch and blisters in the skin supplied by the affected nerve. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus[1], or VZV—the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Does exercise help with shingles nerve pain?

Do gentle exercises, such as walking or stretching. Light activity can help take your mind off the pain. Keep it simple though, and check with your doctor if you’re trying something new.

Can shingles cause long term problems?

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.

What is the treatment for postherpetic neuralgia?

There are a number of effective postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) treatments your doctor can prescribe. The most successful treatments are anti-seizure medications, antiviral agents, antidepressants, and opioid pain relievers. Patches containing lidocaine, or other pain relievers, are also very effective.

Can shingles cause neuropathy?

If the pain caused by shingles continues after the bout of shingles is over, it is known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). It is estimated that about 1 in 5 patients with shingles will go on to have PHN. Neuralgia is neuropathic pain that occurs along the course of a nerve.

How long can PHN last after shingles?

PHN may last one to two months, but some patients have PHN for longer than a year. Older people and people with relatives who get shingles are at a higher risk for PHN. Complications of PHN may include severe pain, pain-medicine addiction, diminished lifestyle, and in a few patients, paralysis of the affected area.

How do I know if nerve damage is healing?

How do I know the nerve is recovering? As your nerve recovers, the area the nerve supplies may feel quite unpleasant and tingly. This may be accompanied by an electric shock sensation at the level of the growing nerve fibres; the location of this sensation should move as the nerve heals and grows.

Can postherpetic neuralgia spread?

With neuralgia, the pain can spread throughout the body along neural pathways. The pain may be brief or chronic and can range from mild to extreme. Postherpetic neuralgia occurs after an individual is infected with herpes zoster.

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.

How long does nerve damage from shingles last?

Duration of Postherpetic Neuralgia The pain of shingles usually persists for around three months. When this pain lingers long after the rash heals, it is considered PN. The bout of shingles damaged the nerves. This means that the nerve damage caused by shingles brings on a fully functioning nervous system.

Does postherpetic neuralgia ever go away?

In most cases, the pain will gradually go away. There is a small risk the pain will return intermittently, or be with you for the rest of your life. However, the majority of patients experience no postherpetic neuralgia pain within one year.

How do you get rid of postherpetic neuralgia?

Certain anti-seizure medications, including gabapentin (Gralise, Horizant, Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica), can lessen the pain of postherpetic neuralgia. These medications stabilize abnormal electrical activity in your nervous system caused by injured nerves.

What foods help repair nerve damage?

Fish oil is useful in treating neuropathy due to its anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to repair damaged nerves….The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are also found in these foods:salmon.walnuts.sardines.canola oil.chia seeds.flaxseeds.mackerel.cod liver oil.More items…•

How do you treat nerve damage from shingles?

“We have about a half dozen types of drugs that are used as first-line treatments for PHN,” says Dworkin. They include lidocaine patch (Lidoderm), pregabalin (Lyrica), gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant), capsaicin (Qutenza, Zostrix cream), carbamazepine (Tegretol), tricyclic antidepressants, and painkillers.