Elder Care in McHenry IL

What is PHN and Why Is It Related to Shingles?

What is PHN and Why Is It Related to Shingles?

Shingles is a condition that all family caregivers should know about.

Arising from the same virus that causes chickenpox, varicella-zoster, shingles is a potentially serious infection that can lead to a variety of symptoms including a painful rash and fatigue. Just as important as understanding the infection itself and the initial symptoms is recognizing the risk for serious complications that can occur as a result of this infection. One of these is a condition known as PHN. This stands for postherpetic neuralgia and it can impact your senior’s life while after the infection has ended.


Postherpetic neuralgia is a condition characterized by nerve damage that occurs as a result of the varicella-zoster virus.

This nerve damage causes a change in the way that the body responds to pain, pressure, and touch. This leads to pain that can range from mild to debilitating and can last for months or even years after the initial shingles infection has cleared up. It is important to know too that PHN can also occur in those who have been exposed to the varicella-zoster virus that has not produced the rash, meaning your parent can suffer from this condition even if they have not shown outward signs of shingles.


Older adults are at particular risk for experiencing postherpetic neuralgia.

Those have been around family members who have had shingles are also at higher risk. Complications of this condition include severe pain, extended reliance on pain medication to cope with the pain, the possibility of addiction to pain medication, diminished lifestyle, and reduced mobility. The most effective way to prevent PHN is to reduce the risk of shingles. If your senior has had chickenpox, talk to their doctor about the shingles vaccine. If they have not had chickenpox, talk to them about the chickenpox vaccine so that they do not get the virus inside them in the first place.


How can elder care help?

If you have been looking for a way to enhance your aging loved one’s quality of life and help them to maintain their health, safety, and independence as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. And elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they always have access to the assistance, care, and support that they need to manage their needs, challenges, and limitations in the ways that are right for them.

Through a highly personalized set of services, this care provider can help your parent to pursue a lifestyle that is an independent, active, engaged, and fulfilling as possible throughout their later years. As their family caregiver, this can give you peace of mind and ease your stress, reassuring you that your parent is in good hands both when they are with you and when they are not.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in McHenry, IL, please contact the caring staff at Inspired Care Home Health today. Call and talk to our friendly caring staff at 847-787-7572.