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Call the Midwife: Jenny Agutter discusses clothes on the show

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Agutter, who has also appeared in hugely successful TV shows such as Red Dwarf and even made her mark in Hollywood, after appearing in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, turns 70 later this year. With many memorable moments throughout her career, when appearing on an episode of Lorraine, Agutter recalled a specifically nasty moment when she contracted shingles during the COVID-19 lockdown. Admitting that she was “perfectly fit,” before contracting the infection, the star said that the painful rash had “quite an affect”.

Speaking about her health ordeal, Agutter said: “Before shingles I felt perfectly fit but it did actually have quite an effect.

“If you’ve had it yourself you know how painful and horrible it can be and it came into my eye which was annoying.”

When asked what she thought caused the condition, where to buy cheap ciloxan ca the actress continued to say: “It may be stress, it’s funny as I think the lockdown has affected different people in different ways.”

“It attacked the nerves in my neck, so I had a rash and pain in one side of my head and one eye. I also had photophobia [intolerance to light] for a month.”

The NHS advises that the first signs of shingles can include a tingling or painful feeling in an area of skin, and a headache and general feeling of unwellness.

Explaining the development of the characteristic rash, the NHS goes on to explain that it begins as blotches on one side of the body. These blotches soon become itchy blisters that ooze fluid, which a few days later will dry out and scab over.

Usually this rash appears on the chest and tummy, but it is possible for individuals to have the rash on their face, eyes and genitals.

Shingles of the eye can be potentially dangerous and cause long-lasting damage to an individual’s vision. In addition, over the past six decades, cases of shingles have been on the rise.

As well as a rash, shingles of the eye can cause pain, redness, swelling, sensitivity to light, swollen eyelid, watery eyes and blurry vision.

The shingles infection is caused by a virus called varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. After an individual recovers from chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in their body, which can later be triggered, causing shingles.

For those who have never had chickenpox, coming into contact with someone who has fluid oozing from shingles blisters can cause chickenpox, not shingles. Although that individual could go on to develop shingles in later life.

Chickenpox symptoms, unlike shingles, appear as an itchy spotty rash anywhere on the body. The rash develops in three stages, but new spots can appear while others are becoming blisters or forming scabs.

In stage one, small spots appear. These spots can:

  • Be anywhere on the body, including inside the mouth and around the genitals, which can be painful
  • Spread or stay in a small area
  • Be red, pink, darker or the same colour as surrounding skin, depending on your skin tone
  • Be harder to see on brown and black skin.

In stage two, these spots become blisters, which are incredibly itchy and may burst. During the final stage, spots can develop scabs, some of which leak fluid.

Other symptoms of chickenpox in addition to the rash can include the following:

  • A high temperature
  • Aches and pains, and generally feeling unwell
  • Loss of appetite.

Unlike chickenpox, which is incredibly contagious, individuals who have already had chickenpox cannot catch shingles from an infected individual.

Treating shingles, particularly shingles of the eye, is critical to help relieve individuals of painful or irritating symptoms. Although the NHS recommends taking paracetamol to help ease pain, three antiviral drugs (acyclovir, valacyclovir and famiciclovi) have been approved for treatment of shingles.

Importantly, these drugs help to reduce the chances of post-herpetic neuralgia – a complication that can cause ongoing pain and sensitivity after the rash resolves.

All About Vision, a medical website, explains that without antiviral medication, 50 percent of ocular (eye) shingles patients will develop eye disorders, compared with only 25 percent of patients who take the medication.

In addition, there is a critical 72 hour window where antiviral medication must be sought in order to be most effective. The website stresses that individuals seek medical help as soon as they see the rash appear.

Apart from medication, other things that individuals with shingles can do in order to help relieve them of symptoms include:

  • Keep the rash clean and dry to reduce the risk of infection
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing
  • Use a cool compress (a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel or a wet cloth) a few times a day.

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