Chickenpox and Hearing Loss

by Carol Gomes

Chickenpox is an extremely contagious disease and is characterized by the appearance of a blistery rash all over the skin. This type of rash is generally accompanied by itchiness. Chickenpox is caused by a virus called varicella-zoster. Chickenpox in childhood passes off without severe problems.

A highly contagious disease, the viral infection causing chickenpox spreads through direct contact with broken chickenpox blisters and through airborne droplets. After the infection the virus lies dormant in the body and can emerge later to cause shingles.

The infectious period lasts from 3 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have formed scabs.

Technically, the incubation period between being infected with chickenpox until the actual breakout of the disease and appearance of the symptoms is about 10 to 20 days.

The following occurrences could be symptomatic of chickenpox -

  1. Rash that begins on the body and spreads to the face. These appear a little later on the scalp and limbs as well.
  2. The itchy rash generally begins as small red spots which develop into blisters in a few hours.
  3. The blisters turn into scabs after a couple of days.
  4. The rash could also spread to the mucous membranes especially in the mouth and genitals.
  5. Chickenpox is likely to cause complications in adults than children. Adults are likely to take longer to recover.

Complications related to chickenpox -

  1. Pregnant women who have never had chickenpox before.
  2. People with a weak immune system, like those suffering from acute or chronic leukemia or HIV.
  3. Patients on long-term oral corticosteroids, drugs which suppress the immune system.
  4. In children, chicken pox could cause several birth defects such as hearing loss if it is contracted by the mother during pregnancy

Treating chicken pox -

  1. It may start with a mild fever, headache or if the skin is inflamed or infected.
  2. Once chickenpox is confirmed, administer pain-relieving syrups and plenty of fluids at regular intervals.
  3. Calamine lotion applied over the scabs will relieve itching. Antihistamine medicines can be taken internally to help the same cause.
  4. Hygiene is important. Take special efforts to ensure that your child's hands are clean and fingernails cut short. Discourage scratching as it can leave scars.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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