Live 2 B Healthy® Blog

Taking Your Body Where Your Mind Wants To Go


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Last spring, I developed a small reddish spot along side my nose, near my right eye. The next day, my eye was almost swollen shut. It was the strangest thing, and the family practitioner, the dermatologist, nor the eye doctor could figure out what it was. But the swelling and the redness persisted for over a month. Test results finally came back and it was shingles. None of the pros had ever seriously considered the possibility because it did not hurt or itch, and I was only 48 years old.
Finally, 6 months later, the redness has almost faded. At my recent checkup, I asked the doctor whether I should consider getting a shingles vaccine now. I was surprised when she told me “no”.
According to a Mayo Clinic article, whether they’ve had shingles or not, adults age 60 and older should get the shingles vaccine (Zostavax), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although the vaccine is also approved for use in people ages 50 to 59 years, the CDC isn’t recommending the shingles vaccine until you reach age 60.
The shingles vaccine protects your body from reactivation of a virus — the chickenpox (varicella-zoster) virus — that most people are exposed to during childhood. When you recover from chickenpox, the virus stays latent in your body. For unknown reasons, though, the latent virus sometimes gets reactivated years later, causing shingles. The shingles vaccine prevents this reactivation.
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