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Shingles - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

Shingles in Urdu

اس بیماری میں جسم پر سرخ چھالے بننے لگتے ہیں  جو کہ ایک پٹی کی صورت میں جسم کے کسی بھی حصے پر ظاہر ہو سکتے ہیں ۔ زیادہ تر یہ سینے کے اطراف میں دیکھنے میں آتے ہیں۔ اگرچہ یہ بیماری مہلک نہیں ہے لیکن یہ کافی تکلیف کا باعث بن سکتی ہے۔ یہ بیماری چکن پاکس وائرس کی وجہ سے ہوتی ہے ۔  بروقت علاج سے اس مرض کی شدت اور ہونے والی تکلیف کو کم کیا جا سکتا ہے۔ ویکسین کی مدد سے اس مرض سے حفاظت ممکن ہے۔ پچاس سال سے زیادہ عمر کے افراد میں یہ معض زیادہ عام ہے۔ قوت مدافعت کی کمزوری بھی اس مرض کی بڑی وجوہات مہں شامل ہیں۔ کینسر کا علاج اور بعض دوسری ادویات کا استعمال بھی  اس مرض کی وجہ بن سکتا ہے۔

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Summary about Shingles in English

Painful rash formed on the body is known as shingles. Although tiles can appear anywhere on the body, they usually come in the form of a band of blisters surrounding the left or right side of your chest. Varicella-zoster virus caused the shingles; this is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After catching chickenpox, the virus is inactive in nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus can reactivate as shingles. Although shingles are not fatal, shingles can be very painful. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles, while early treatment can help reduce shingles and reduce the risk of complications.

The meaning of Shingles in Urdu is "Roray".

Symptoms of Shingles

This infection is manifested by the following symptoms

  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
  • Sensitivity to touch and light
  • red rash and fluid-filled blisters
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Causes of Shingles

The same virus that causes chickenpox causes shingles. So, there is a possibility for individuals who have developed chickenpox to also develop shingles. The virus could latch on to the nervous system right after the individual recovers from chickenpox and remain dormant there for an extended time; for years.

At some point this virus could reactivate and then move through the neural pathways under the skin. This will cause shingles. However, not all who have chickenpox will also have shingles.

While the reasons behind shingles require more research, currently experts attribute it to lowering immunity levels that happen with age. Admittedly, shingles is in fact more prevalent among adults with weak immune systems.


Risk Factors of Shingles

As has been noted earlier, anyone who develops chickenpox could potentially develop shingles. Other factors which could increase the a person’s vulnerability to shingles include:

  • Being above the age of 50.  People who are more than 50 years old are the most vulnerable to shingles. According to research, about 50% of the people older than 80 have shingles.
  • Certain diseases.  Specifically those diseases that make the immune systems more weak and at risk for multiple infections. These diseases include HIV/AIDS and cancer,
  • Cancer treatments.  Cancer treatments that involve chemotherapy and/or radiation also weaken the individual’s protective system against diseases. One such disease is shingles.
  • Medications.  While not all medications raise the risk, particular drugs that aim to avoid transplanted organs’ rejection definitely do. Steroids along with prednisone also could make the individual more susceptible.


Preventive Measures of Shingles

There are two vaccines that have the ability to prevent shingles from developing. These are the vaccines for chicken pox and for shingles.

While the chickenpox vaccine does not guarantee a completely chickenpox or shingles free life, it significantly lowers the person’s susceptibility to get both of them. It could also make the symptoms less severe.

There are two further vaccines available in the category of shingles vaccines: Zostavax and Shingrix. The side effects that are the most commonly associated with these vaccines are reddishness, increased sensitivity and itching and swelling around the area where the vaccine was injected. Headaches could also appear.

Like is the case with chickenpox vaccine, shingles vaccine does not completely erase the possibility of contracting shingles but it will certain lower the probability. Furthermore, it will also potentially shorten the total disease course and the severity as well.

One more thing to understand is that shingles vaccine is only meant as a strategy for prevention. It cannot treat people who already have the condition. The consultation with doctor is the most important thing if one already has contracted shingles.

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