Shingles is one of those illnesses which can be very uncomfortable in adults but mostly is not dangerous. Shingles symptoms can be varied, however most people recognize the rash that appears, usually around the stomach and upper torso. The condition is caused by the herpes zoster virus, thats the same one responsible for chicken pox. And as well as the common shingles symptoms noted above the condition can cause many other painful and frightening indications.
Some people get the rash on their face and ears. As well as the associated pain, in some cases the virus infects nerves which control the facial muscles causing facial paralysis. When the shingles develops in this manner it is called Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
When the rash affects the area around the ears the condition is particularly painful and red. Blisters can affect all areas of the ear, outer and inner, including ear drum and ear canal. When the shingles is at its contagious state these blisters will all ooze watery discharges.
Shingles symptoms which are not very common include facial paralysis caused by the infected inner ear. The infected area results in the surrounding muscles becoming weak and this affects the mouth and eyes. The patient may have problems controlling their mouth and opening or closing their eyes. It is common for the person to have a crooked look to their face. Other shingles symptoms arising from this condition are that the patients sense of taste will change and they may also have dry eyes.
Because the inner ear also affects a persons sense of balance it is probable that the person will have problems remaining steady and vertigo and a spinning feeling is also common. Perhaps the most obvious outcome of the ear infection is that hearing will probably be affected too. About half of the people who suffer from these shingles symptoms do suffer hearing loss. Many more can hear noises like crashing sounds and some people get a ringing in their ears.
On top of all of these other symptoms there will be a deep severe pain within the ear and this normally appears just before the rash becomes visible. This is the time to contact your doctor but ensure that you fully explain the symptoms, the doctor may not want a highly contagious patient in his surgery. A home visit may be a better option. The sooner treatment commences then generally the recovery period is shorter.
Sometimes complications develop causing severe pain for a number of weeks and months. This is due to the nerve fibers which were originally affected remaining damaged and taking longer to repair themselves. The name for this complication is post herpetic neuralgia and doctors associate it with the other shingles symptoms. There is also a condition known as synkinesis which happens during the recovery phase and it happens when the nerve regrows in areas where it shouldnt. The symptoms from this condition include producing tears whilst blinking or laughing and perhaps confusion, stiff neck or headaches.