August 10, 2023
Coimbatore : Ananya’s Nana Nani Retirement Homes at Phase 3, Dhaliyur, Coimbatore, today hosted an expert talk by Dr Balakrishnan, Medical Director on “Shingles and its prevention.” The event supported by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited (GSK), was attended by more than 100 senior residents. Dr. Balakrishnan spoke about the debilitating impact of shingles on ageing adults and how the disease can be prevented.
Dr. Balakrishnan, Medical Director, Ananya’s Nana Nani Retirement Homes, commented, “Shingles is a viral infection and causes excruciating nerve pain. It can disrupt the life of ageing adults to a great extent. The nerve pain can last for weeks or even months after the person has recovered from shingles. This complication is known as post-herpetic neuralgia . I have seen many cases of post-herpetic neuralgia in my clinical experience and it is very distressing for ageing adults. It prevents an individual from carrying out day-to-day activities. Through this initiative, we want to encourage adults over 50 years and their caregivers to talk to their doctors about the preventive action that can be taken for shingles.”
The doctor emphasized the cause of shingles and its increased risk in ageing adults. He explained that shingles, known as Akki locally, is caused by the varicella zoster virus. First exposure to this virus causes chickenpox. The virus then remains inactive in the nerves of the body even after the person recovers from chickenpox and reactivates when the immune system weakens to cause shingles. In India, more than 90% of adults above the age of 50 have this virus in their body and are vulnerable to shingles. Globally, 1 in 3 adults may develop shingles at least once in their lifetime.