Shingles Eye Treatment

Shingles is the common name for the medical term herpes zoster; it is a virus which affects the nerve and the skin that surrounds it. Shingles is caused by a reactivation in later life of the herpes varicella-zoster virus which causes chickenpox and remains dormant in the nervous system afterwards. The virus is reactivated when the body’s immunity to it breaks down; there are number of reasons that low immunity can be caused including stress, fatigue, or due to other medication and cancer treatments.

Shingles can affect different areas of the body and causes pain and a rash in the affected area, the majority of cases are found on the chest and abdomen although the virus can affect the arms, legs, neck and face. Shingles on the face is one area that needs immediate medical attention, especially if the eyes are affected, shingles eye treatment, when given early can prevent complications that can lead to blurred vision, glaucoma, cataracts and scarring on the inside of the eye.

What are the early signs of shingles?

The eyes are connected to nerves which means they are a potential area in which shingles can develop. In many cases the rash spreads to the eye from another part of the face such as the forehead, cheeks or nose. The first signs of shingles are felt a few days prior to a rash appearing; early signs may include headaches, tiredness, muscle pain and an un-well feeling. There will also be a tingling or burning sensation in the affected area. If you feel this kind of sensation anywhere on the face then you should seek medical advice as it is likely shingles eye treatment will be needed.
Once the rash appears it does so in the form of small red spots which last for a few days before turning into blisters and then drying out and scabbing over. Once the rash appears it can be itchy and irritation and is likely to be accompanied by pain in the nerves.

What treatments are given for shingles eye infections?

By acting early, GP’s are able to prescribe shingles eye treatments that can ease the pain and reduce the severity of the virus. The most commonly used treatment in antiviral medication; this can be given as oral tablets or in a topical cream although the former is much more common. Common antiviral drugs that are used are aciclovir, valaciclovir and famciclovir, these can help to stop the virus from multiplying and ease the pain being felt. GP’s will generally prescribe antiviral medication alongside painkillers to help effectively control the virus.

Prescription eye drops either lubricating or antibiotic can also be used to help treat the condition as can topical cream such as capsaicin cream which can be rubbed in to the affected area to control the nerves and help ease the pain.

Cold compresses can be recommended for use at home to help soothe the skin and prevent itchiness and irritation and on occasions the use of steroids provide good shingles eye treatment by reducing the swelling in the area.

 

 

 

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