Some people have such mild symptoms of shingles that they don't seek medical treatment. At the other extreme, severe symptoms may result in a visit to the emergency room.
What you can do
You may want to write a list that includes:
- A detailed description of your symptoms
- Information about your medical problems, past and present
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All the medications, vitamins and dietary supplements you take
Preparing a list of questions ahead of time will help you make the most of your limited time with your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For shingles, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- How long will I have symptoms?
- What caused me to develop shingles? Can I get it again?
- What treatment do you recommend? How quickly will I start to feel better?
- What if my symptoms don't improve?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask any additional questions that occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will examine your rash and may ask some of the following questions:
Sept. 27, 2016
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Does anything make them better or worse?
- Do you know if you've ever had chickenpox?
- Shingles: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shingles/detail_shingles.htm. Accessed July 4, 2014.
- O'Connor KM, et al. Herpes zoster. Medical Clinics of North America. 2013;97:503.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 4, 2014.
- Shingles: Clinical overview. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/hcp/clinical-overview.html. Accessed July 4, 2014.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookId=330. Accessed June 28, 2014.
- Albrecht MA. Prevention of varicella-zoster virus infection: Herpes zoster. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 5, 2014.