Shingles is caused by the Herpes zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chicken pox. This is not as contagious as chicken pox, and it is only likely you will be affected by it if you have not had chicken pox as this is the form it usually travels as to other bodies. So, if you have already had chicken pox you are at a lot less risk or catching the virus. The reason for this reoccurrence of the virus is not yet clear but it is thought a weakened immune system makes you more susceptible to this virus, and the elderly are also more at risk of having the virus attack the body again.
One of the serious complications of shingles is blisters near the eyes and on the tip of the nose. If these blisters are not cared for properly, they could cause serious and permanent eye damage. If blisters appear near your eyes you should go straight to the doctor who will most likely refer you to an ophthalmologist to ensure damage is limited.
Initial symptoms of shingles is usually a burning, tingling or extreme sensitivity in one area which after a few days turns into a red rash which then turns into clusters of blisters with a similar appearance as chicken pox. As soon as symptoms of shingles appear, consult your doctor as the earlier you receive treatment the quicker the recovery time.