If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One Spare a Little Pain? You and the Shingles Vaccine

You are searching about If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One, today we will share with you article about If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One was compiled and edited by our team from many sources on the internet. Hope this article on the topic If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One is useful to you.

Spare a Little Pain? You and the Shingles Vaccine

If you are over 60, chances are your doctor has immunized you with the shingles vaccine or counseled you to get it.

At least that is what the folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta hope will happen. But even the best-laid medical plans go awry in our world of managed care, cost shifting and vaccine phobia.

Your doctor may have also referred to it as the “varicella zoster vaccine” rather than the “shingles vaccine.” So what are shingles and varicella zoster? They are the same thing. They both refer to the chickenpox virus. Hence you hope to prevent shingles by getting the varicella zoster vaccine (cleverly named Zostavax by the marketing folks at Merck).

Historically chickenpox and shingles have been thought of as two separate diseases, with varicella (chickenpox) afflicting the younger and shingles striking the older. It is now realized they are manifestation of the same virus. I like to think of the shingles as chickenpox “all grown up.”

Shingles is merely that chickenpox virus you had in grade school coming back out to play years later. That varicella virus has been lurking silently inside you all this time.

It’s quite remarkable if you ponder it. It has traveled with you through the inventions of the microwave oven, television, Elvis, disco and the fall of the Soviet Union. Now that you are a little older, you may have noticed your immune system isn’t what it used to be. Well so has that varicella virus. It’s been waiting ever so patiently all this time to erupt again. Stress and other illnesses are often all that is needed to let it breach your defenses.

Late-night talk show host David Letterman took only his second sick day in 21 years because of a shingles outbreak. To illustrate the severity of his rash, it is worth pointing out that his only other sick day up to that time was for a coronary bypass.

But shingles is not a condition of the elderly alone. Anyone can get it. A healthy 36-year-old colleague of mine has had shingles twice already for no apparent reason, underscoring the point there is much yet to learn about this virus.

It is estimated that 1 in every 3 Americans will get shingles. There will be 1 million cases this year alone. Although the vaccine is recommended for those 60 and over, it is actually FDA approved for use down to 50. If you have a weakened immune system from a medical condition or because of a medication, talk to your doctor about it.

Shingles usually starts as a painful, stinging, tingling or even itchy rash. Low-grade fever, chills or a headache often accompany the onset. The skin erupts in grouped blisters or angry red bumps, often in a single stripe across one side of the body. I’m told it feels like a whipping. And it’s not hard to image a whip wound from a cruel master when you see it.

It can take several days to develop its characteristic appearance, though, and can go unrecognized early in its course, especially if it happens to be painless. The blisters scab over in about 10 days and the whole event usually lasts around two weeks – if you are lucky. For some unfortunate souls, shingles is the beginning of a long odyssey of pain and frustration.

The persistence of the pain is referred to as post herpetic neuralgia, or PHN (all medical conditions have their nifty abbreviations these days). The horror of PHN can rival the best of any medieval tortures. It has been described as “demons gnawing” on the skin and a continuous “stabbing with an ice pick.” One woman told me she is awakened several times a night to the feeling of scalding water being poured across her ribs.

The misery of PHN is difficult to treat as doctors often rely on powerful painkillers and even anti-seizure medications. Some find relief from acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. I sometimes recommend an over-the-counter capsaicin cream. It is the extract from a red-hot chili pepper and helps “fight fire with fire.”

For some patients, the daily pain of shingles is their new reality, though. This easily results in depression and decreased quality of life overall. And if chronic pain wasn’t enough for you, shingles can also result in blindness, hearing loss, paralysis and even death in extreme cases.

I hope by now you are asking yourself, “How can I avoid this horrid torture?” The answer is the shingles vaccine. At least that is the best answer currently. It is effective at preventing about 50 percent of shingles outbreaks and 66 percent effective at prevention of the dreaded PHN residual pain. The latter reason is the most compelling to get vaccinated, in my humble opinion.

Even if you’ve had shingles already, you can still get the vaccine to help prevent future episodes (although they are uncommon). It is believed the vaccine will last about five to six years in your system but this is a question only time will answer for us. Ninety-nine percent of Americans older than 50 are estimated to have had chickenpox during childhood. The goal of the shingles shot is to prevent reactivation of this virus.

It is a “live” vaccine and contains live viral particles. So those with weakened immune systems, HIV/AIDS, or pregnant women should have a serious discussion with their doctors to weigh the risks and benefits. To date, there has been no documented spread of infection from someone receiving the vaccine to another person. But it is still a good idea to tell your doctor if someone in your household has immune system problems. Some people fear getting shingles from the vaccine because it is a “live” vaccine. Data in this regard are difficult to interpret, but I think it would be highly unlikely given personal my experience.

All Medicare Part D plans supposedly cover the shingles vaccine. However, every plan’s cost sharing (i.e., what you have to pay) differs. Most doctors don’t carry the vaccine because the significant cost means the product is likely to expire on their shelves. So we write prescriptions for it and have the patient bring it back to the office for injection at no extra charge. Medicare Part B does not cover this vaccine.

So should you get the vaccine? That is akin to the question of “should I buy insurance?” Hindsight is always 20/20. There is no guarantee it will prevent shingles or the chronic pain of PHN, and the cost can be substantial – $250 seems to be the going rate for the shot. As one of my patients put it, “A $250 price tag for those on fixed incomes for something that is only 50 percent effective makes no sense. Great humanitarian effort Big Pharma!”

While I understand his frustration, you need not meet too many people with chronic shingles pain before deciding you probably want the shot. I’m told some pharmacies have access to $138 rebate cards somewhere deep in their computer labyrinths. Some patients tell me they have to be persistent in asking.

If you can afford it or are patient enough to pursue the rebates, I do recommend getting the vaccine. Suffering a little financial pain to potentially spare you hellish physical pain later sounds like a good roll of the dice to me.

Dr. Derrick Adams is a board-certified dermatologist and the medical director of Vita Dermatology and Laser Institute, a division of Lassen Medical Group in Red Bluff. His office can be reached at 528-VITA.

Video about If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One

You can see more content about If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One on our youtube channel: Click Here

Question about If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One

If you have any questions about If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One, please let us know, all your questions or suggestions will help us improve in the following articles!

The article If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One was compiled by me and my team from many sources. If you find the article If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One helpful to you, please support the team Like or Share!

Rate Articles If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One

Rate: 4-5 stars
Ratings: 5805
Views: 71437304

Search keywords If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One

If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One
way If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One
tutorial If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One
If You Got Old Shingles Shot Why Get New One free
#Spare #Pain #Shingles #Vaccine

Source: https://ezinearticles.com/?Spare-a-Little-Pain?-You-and-the-Shingles-Vaccine&id=6945370

Related Posts

default-image-feature

How To Use Your Old Number On A New Phone Is a Virtual VoIP PBX Really That Different?

You are searching about How To Use Your Old Number On A New Phone, today we will share with you article about How To Use Your Old…

default-image-feature

How To Use The Old Account Using New Mobile Legends HTC Legend Mobile Phone Reviews

You are searching about How To Use The Old Account Using New Mobile Legends, today we will share with you article about How To Use The Old…

default-image-feature

How To Use Old Roku Device On New Roku Account What To Consider When Choosing a Media Streaming Device

You are searching about How To Use Old Roku Device On New Roku Account, today we will share with you article about How To Use Old Roku…

default-image-feature

How To Use Old Ps3 Hard Drive On New Ps3 Xbox One S Review Price Futures And Info

You are searching about How To Use Old Ps3 Hard Drive On New Ps3, today we will share with you article about How To Use Old Ps3…

default-image-feature

How To Use Old Phone Number In New Phone Port Educating Consumers on Mobile Banking Security and Mobile Money Transfer

You are searching about How To Use Old Phone Number In New Phone Port, today we will share with you article about How To Use Old Phone…

default-image-feature

How To Use Old Os On New Motherboard And Cpu 10 Easy Steps to Build Your Own Computer

You are searching about How To Use Old Os On New Motherboard And Cpu, today we will share with you article about How To Use Old Os…