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Talking to Your Doctor About Shingles
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and ask questions you might not have thought to ask.
- Write your questions ahead of time so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what was said. Ask for information to be repeated, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to discuss whatever is on your mind or to ask how you can obtain more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- Am I contagious to others?
- What should I do to avoid passing the virus to others?
- Do I need to avoid people who are ill while I have shingles?
- If I’ve never had chickenpox, would you recommend that I receive the chickenpox vaccine?
- Are there any other precautions I can take to avoid getting shingles?
- Should I consider getting the vaccine that can reduce my risk of developing shingles?
- If I get shingles, could it mean that I have some other condition that has weakened my immune system?
- What treatments can relieve my pain and discomfort?
- What treatments can help shorten the length of this illness?
- What treatments can help prevent complications, including postherpetic neuralgia?
About your medications:
- What are their benefits?
- What are their side effects?
- Might they interact with any other medications, over the counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I’m taking for other conditions?
- Do I need to worry about lightheadedness or drowsiness while I’m taking these medications?
- Are there any activities I should avoid while taking these medications?
- Are there any alternative or complementary treatments that might relieve my symptoms or prevent the development of complications?
- If I get shingles on my face, what can I do to help avoid getting an infection in my eye?
- What signs indicating an eye infection should I look for?
- How likely am I to suffer from complications of shingles, such as postherpetic neuralgia?
- What treatments can you offer me if I do develop complications?
- Reviewer: James Cornell, MD
- Review Date: 06/2016
- Update Date: 05/20/2015