9 Things You Should Know About Shingles

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How common is shingles in the U.S.?
Fifty percent of all Americans will have had shingles by the time they are 80.1

At what age do people get shingles?
Shingles most commonly occurs in people over age 50.2

How many people get shingles every year in the U.S.?
An estimated 1 million Americans suffer from shingles each year.2

What is postherpetic neuralgia?
If pain in the area where the shingles occurred lasts months or years, this pain is called postherpetic neuralgia. (But usually shingles clears up after two or three weeks).1

Can stress cause shingles?
A stressful life event can sometimes contribute to an outbreak of shingles.4

Who's at highest risk for shingles?
People with compromised immune systems from illnesses such as cancer and HIV are at highest risk for developing shingles.4

What is ophthalmic shingles?
In 10 to 20 percent of shingles cases, people developed ophthalmic shingles, which is shingles in the eye or around the skin of the eye. Ophthalmic shingles has been linked to increased risk of stroke.3

Who can get the shingles vaccine?
In 2006, the FDA approved a vaccine to prevent shingles in people age 60 or older. Seniors can get this vaccine even if they have had shingles before.1

Does the shingles vaccine help reduce risk of shingles?
Researchers found that giving older adults the shingles vaccine reduced the number of shingles cases by half.5

Find In-Home Care to Help With Shingles Caregiving


1. "Shingles." PubMed Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001861/ Review date May 30, 2012.
2. "Shingles." National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/shingles/pages/default.aspx Last updated October 22, 2012.
3. Norton, Amy. "Shingles of the eye tied to stroke risk." Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/03/03/us-shingles-eye-idUSTRE62259U20100303 March 3, 2010.
4. "Shingles" NIHSenior Health http://nihseniorhealth.gov/shingles/causesandriskfactors/01.html Topic Last Reviewed January 2011
5. "Shingles: Hope Through Research." National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shingles/detail_shingles.htm#223563223 Last updated January 10, 2013.