Risk of Ocular Shingles Recurrence Can See a Boost Following Shingles Vaccine

Risk of Ocular Shingles Recurrence Can See a Boost Following Shingles Vaccine

It has been recently revealed the fact that the shingles vaccine is able to raise the risk of ocular shingles recurrence. Check out the following reports about the matter below.

Shingles vaccine side effect is addressed

A recent study suggests that receiving the recombinant zoster (shingles) vaccine (RZV), or Shingrix, after experiencing an ocular shingles event may increase the risk of having a second event. Ocular shingles refers to all shingles cases that occur in the eye area.

Milder cases of ocular shingles usually appear near the eyelids, while more severe ones can cause inflammation inside the eyes, which may lead to blindness.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that those who receive the RZV vaccine have a higher risk of developing ocular shingles again compared to unvaccinated people with a history of the condition.

“It’s not a huge increased risk,” lead author Dr. Nisha Acharya, director of the Uveitis and Ocular Inflammatory Disease Service at UC–San Francisco, told The Epoch Times.

“To my knowledge, it’s the first data that we have on risks of reactivation following zoster vaccination for this patient population who already have the disease. I think it raises some questions.”

Not viral reactivation?

Shingles is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the nerves of the body. Later in life, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles.

If the virus remains inactive in the nerves that connect to the eye, it can cause ocular shingles when it becomes active again. According to the American Academy of Neurology, approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of individuals who acquire shingles will develop ocular shingles.

It is common for shingles to reoccur on the skin, which is usually a sign of the virus becoming active again. However, there may be another reason for some cases of shingles reoccurring in the eye.

According to Dr. Acharya, it could be due to the immune system reacting to some leftover remnant of the previous infection.

Due to the vaccine’s activation of the immune system, it may react with viral remnants in the eye, causing a recurrence of ocular shingles.

“There may not be active, replicating virus anymore, but you can sometimes have inflammation because your immune system is reacting against what we call viral antigens, or parts of the virus or segments related to that prior infection,” Dr. Acharya said.

Rada Mateescu

Passionate about freedom, truth, humanity, and subjects from the science and health-related areas, Rada has been blogging for about ten years, and at Health Thoroughfare, she's covering the latest news on these niches.

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