My father is 81 years old and has been diagnosed with shingles under his tongue, however, I have never once seen a blister and wonder if he has been misdiagnosed. For a minimum of 3 years he has been in severe pain in one specific area under his tongue. It is painful for him to eat, drink, talk etc. I brought his to a pain specialist/neurologist today and he seemed to be puzzled by the location and lack of blisters, although he prescribed Percodan. I pray this will give him relief from this pain. The doctor said he is going to research the symptoms this weekend and will get in touch with us. I was just wondering if you are anyone else has ever experienced (or know of) anything similar. Any info will be greatly appreciated.
The following information would be of great help.
In healthy people, the rash, blisters, and pain of shingles usually go away in about 3 to 5 weeks. Although shingles can make you very uncomfortable while you have it, it usually is not dangerous to healthy people. But in people with a weakened immune system, shingles can be life-threatening. You should see your doctor immediately if you think you may have any complications of shingles. He or she can help provide treatment and watch your progress.
Postherpetic Neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles. It is a condition in which severe pain from shingles may last for months, and sometimes years, after the shingles rash has healed. PHN occurs from damage to the nerve fibers, caused by the varicella zoster virus. Nerve fibers send messages from the skin to the brain. When nerve fibers are damaged during an outbreak of shingles, they are not able to send messages as they normally do. The body may perceive these "mixed messages" as pain.
The goals of treatment for shingles are to:
1. Shorten the duration of the eruptive stage or rash
2. Speed up healing of the lesions
3. Relieve patient discomfort
4. Shorten the duration of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)
Shingles is usually treated with:
• Prescription oral antiviral drugs to reduce the duration of the infection
• Prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation
• Prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription antidepressants to help with the pain.
The duration of shingles can be significantly reduced for many people with the use of oral prescription antiviral medications. It is important to go to the doctor as soon as you suspect you may have shingles. Shingles should be diagnosed and treated early (within 72 hours, or 3 days) after the rash appears. Oral antiviral medications like famciclovir are used to treat shingles. Famciclovir is available in easy-to-swallow tablets.
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