If you're close with any senior citizens, chances are you've heard about the shingles virus. This illness can be debilitating and severely pain inducing for its sufferers, and senior citizens are at a heightened risk of developing it. However, it might surprise you to learn that it isn't just senior citizens who are at risk. Read on to learn more about exactly what shingles is and how even you could be in danger of developing it.
Shingles is From Chicken Pox
Although the two have different names, shingles comes from the exact same virus as the chickenpox. After someone has the chickenpox or is vaccinated against it, the virus remains dormant in the body. A person can carry the virus for years without any negative effects or symptoms. However, many people develop shingles later in life when their immune systems naturally become weaker in old age and the virus can become active again.
Anyone Can Get Shingles
While shingles is a common problem to have in old age, that doesn't mean that it's limited to senior citizens. Young people can develop shingles, too. While it's rarer, it's not unheard of. However, if you're going to develop shingles at an early age, it will probably be due to a specific risk factor. Most healthy people won't experience shingles until they become older.
Risk Factors for Shingles
Whether you're young or old, there are some things that can make you far more likely to develop shingles. For example, stress is one major culprit. Stress wreaks havoc on the immune system, which could make it harder for your immune system to keep the virus in check. Other potential triggers include other viruses; while the immune system is busy fighting off a common cold or the flu, it's possible for the chickenpox virus to reactivate as shingles. Lastly, people with immune system disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are at a higher risk factor for shingles at an early age.
Shingles is a dangerous virus that can be very harmful to your health and leave you with nerve pain all over your body. Once you have it, there's nothing to be done but to treat the symptoms and to try and boost your immune system. If you're a young person and have an immune system problem or a very high level of stress in your daily life, consider talking to your doctor about getting the shingles vaccine for protection. For more information, contact establishments like Snow Creek Medical Center.