Experienced Doctors in Maui encourage older adults age 60 and over to be immunized against shingles if these individuals have ever had chickenpox. Shingles causes a very painful rash that develops along nerve lines in some people who have previously had the other disease. Vaccinations are available from clinics such as Wailea Medical Center, which provides an array of important immunizations for children and adults alike.
Shingles is medically known as herpes zoster, while chickenpox is called varicella. Both are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The virus remains dormant in the body and, sometimes, reactivates many years later in the form of shingles. Although younger adults occasionally come down with shingles, it is significantly more common in senior citizens. In addition, someone who has suffered from this painful condition in the past is not immune from developing it again, so a vaccination at age 60 is advisable. The immune system is strengthened against this particular disease after a vaccination.
The vaccination isn’t 100-percent effective at preventing the disease, but it dramatically reduces the symptoms and duration if the condition does occur. That’s a substantial benefit since shingles tends to cause terrible discomfort that can last for five or six weeks. Even after the rash clears up, some patients endure lingering nerve pain. That complication is known as postherpetic neuralgia, and it can be debilitating. The immunization shot can produce minor side effects, but those are nothing compared to a bout with herpes zoster.
The shingles immunization is relatively new; it’s only been available since 2006. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccine for people who are at least 50 years old because the disease is very uncommon before that age. Because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommend not getting the shot until age 60, some providers prefer for their patients to wait. Experienced Doctors in Maui will explain to their middle-aged and older patients what their policies are on when to provide the injection. Since some vaccinations gradually become less effective over the years, it’s possible that someone who receives a shingles vaccination at age 50 would not be as well-protected by age 70.
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