About Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Know your risk for having shingles and related complications
  • About 1 in every 3 people in the United States will have shingles in their lifetime.
  • If you had chickenpox, you are at risk for shingles.
  • More than 99% of Americans born before 1980 had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember it.
  • As you get older, your risk for having shingles and serious complications increases.
  • About 10% to 18% of people who have shingles develop nerve pain that lasts for months or years after the rash goes away. This nerve pain is called postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN. PHN is the most common complication of shingles.
  • Shingles can lead to serious complications involving the eye, including vision loss.
  • Very rarely, shingles can also lead to:
    • Infection of the lung (pneumonia)
    • Hearing problems
    • Brain inflammation (encephalitis)
    • Death