Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by herpes zoster, the same various that causes chickenpox. In fact, those who’ve had the chicken pox can end up with shingles years later due to the fact that the infection can live dormant and become active again due to mounting age, lowered immunity, a treatment or medication that suppress immunity, or an infection. It can be a painful condition with severe complications, so recognizing the early symptoms is important because it can help shorten a shingles infection and lessen the chance of complications. Although shingles is often mimics other conditions, there are some telling signs including:
1. Rash: Rash is the most telling sign of Shingles. When shingles virus activates, you will experience a rash that rears its ugly head in fluid-filled blisters. Shingles only present itself on certain parts of the body, including lower back, the chest, buttocks, or neck. Initially, the blisters will be filled with a clear fluid, but after a few days, the fluid will cloud up and take on a darker, murkier hue.
2. Tingling: One of the first symptoms of shingles is a sudden tingling. These tingling sensations usually manifest as extreme sensitivity to touch in a localized area of the body, or on one side of the body. Doctors believe that these tingling sensations occur because the virus that causes shingles affects nerve roots. Thus, the nerves in affected areas respond to stimulus that is only present on a microbial level. And this will make the patients experience sensitivity, tingling, itching and burning for no apparent reason.
3. Nausea: A common sign of the presence of shingles is flu-like symptoms. In most cases, patients report a general feeling of nausea or queasiness, which may worsen when in certain body positions. A sharp stomach ache may also occur, and some people experience diarrhea and/or vomiting. However, vomiting is relatively rare. One of the definitive aspects of nausea and flu-like symptoms that shingles is not accompanied by a rise in body temperature.
4. Headache: The shingles virus will often cause neuropathic pain in the cranial nerves and nerve roots, which will result in a painful, recurring headache that often won’t be alleviated by over-the-counter headache medications. This is because a headache is being triggered by interference with your nerves, a condition which most OTC pain relievers aren’t designed to deal with.
5. Chills: This symptom is very common before the shingles break out. When the body is fighting infection, it can often deplete its heat resources and experience a chill. This happens when the bodies muscles contract and relax suddenly in order to generate heat.