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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can shingles affect the internal body parts?

I was diagnosed with Shingles. I never had an outbreak of sores, just a red swollen patch of skin on my neck on the left side. There was extreme pain in that neck area moving around to the back of my head, all on the left side. Suddenly, I was also diagnosed with Bells Palsy on the left side. Pretty severe. I do not have any shingles in my ear canal and the ear drum is intact. I have lost almost all hearing in the left ear. I am going on 6 weeks of shingles, bells palsy, hearing loss, blurriness. I am also experiencing difficulty breathing, usually after waking up during the night. It is hard, if not impossible to breath out of my left nostril. Follow up showed I was getting plenty of oxygen. I was put on Lorazepan 1MG twice a day for anxiety. I am a 60 year old female, in generally good health, 5 6 , 170 lbs. I have Graves disease which is controlled with Synthroid. I am concerned that I was misdiagnosed because I never broke out in sores as is described in shingles descriptions. My PCD said there was swelling in my brain pushing against a nerve causing the bells palsy. Can Shingles manifest themselves inside your body? Should I be concerned about the feeling of lack of oxygen? It is very scary at times. Is there anything I can do to assist in regaining my hearing? I am doing speech therapy and facial therapy for the bells palsy, but doesnt seem to be helping yet. Please help
Thu, 21 Jun 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.
Yes,shingles can affect the internal body parts.
Symptoms of internal shingles are based on which body system is most affected.
Body systems that can be affected include the eyes, nervous system, lungs, liver, and brain.
Internal shingles can cause symptoms such as persistent pain, fever, cough, abdominal pain, and headache.

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