The virus that causes shingles is likely already inside you. Here's what you need to know about it.
99% of people 50 years and older already have the virus that causes shingles inside them, and 1 out of 3 people will get shingles in their lifetime.
Shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus. When a person has had chickenpox, the virus remains inactive in the body. As we age, our immune system naturally weakens, making it possible for the virus to reactivate, causing shingles. Even healthy and active people can get shingles.
Shingles is a painful, blistering rash that usually develops on one side of the face or body and usually clears up within 2 to 4 weeks. Shingles pain is often described as aching, burning, stabbing or shock-like.
Early symptoms may include headache, intolerance to light, and generally feeling unwell. Fever may also occur.
A possible complication of shingles is a chronic, often debilitating pain that can linger after the rash clears up. Eye complications can occur in 10-25% of shingles episodes and may result in prolonged pain, facial scarring, and, in rare instances, vision loss.
You are likely at risk for shingles
Shingles can affect your daily plans and commitments and the time you spend with family and friends. Don't risk letting shingles interrupt your life. If you are 50 or older, the virus is most likely already inside you. It's time to start a conversation with your doctor or pharmacist about shingles prevention.
LEARN MORE AT WhatIsShingles.com
At the Y, we are for all, and for seniors. Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if it's right for you.
The Y offers a variety of senior programs and wellness opportunities for active older adults including physical fitness, social activities, health fairs, and more. Click here to view senior programs available at your local Y.