20149 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Talking to Your Doctor About Shingles

    You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with shingles. You can take an active role in your care by talking openly and regularly with your doctor.
    Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
    • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and ask questions you might not have thought to ask.
    • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
    • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what was said. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
    • Don't be afraid to discuss whatever is on your mind or to ask how you can obtain more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
    • Am I contagious to others?
    • What should I do to avoid passing the virus to others?
    • Do I need to avoid people who are ill while I have shingles?
    • If I’ve never had chickenpox, would you recommend that I receive the chickenpox vaccine?
    • Are there any other precautions I can take to avoid getting shingles?
    • Should I consider getting the vaccine that can reduce my risk of developing shingles?
    • If I get shingles, could it mean that I have some other condition that has weakened my immune system?
    • What treatments can relieve my pain and discomfort?
    • What treatments can help shorten the duration of this illness?
    • What treatments can help prevent complications, including postherpetic neuralgia?
    • About your medications:
      • What are their benefits?
      • What are their side effects?
      • Might they interact with any other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I’m taking for other conditions?
      • Do I need to worry about dizziness or drowsiness while I’m taking these medications?
      • Are there any activities I should avoid while taking these medications?
    • Are there any alternative or complementary treatments that might relieve my symptoms or prevent the development of complications?
    • If I get shingles on my face, what can I do to help avoid getting the infection in my eye?
    • What signs indicating an eye infection should I look for?
    • How likely am I to suffer from complications of shingles, such as postherpetic neuralgia?
    • What treatments can you offer me if I do develop complications?

    References

    The American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/default.htm . Accessed February 21, 2006.

    Stankus SJ, Dlugopolski M, Packer D. Management of herpes zoster (shingles) and postherpetic neuralgia. Am Fam Physician . 2000;61(8). Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000415/2437.html.

    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/ . Accessed February 21, 2006.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.