Explained: What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, The Rare Condition That Paralyzed Justin Bieber's Face

Jagran Explainer: Justin Bieber revealed that he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. Know what is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, its symptoms and treatment and other information.

By Simran Srivastav
Updated: Sat, 11 Jun 2022 04:23 PM IST
Minute Read
Explained: What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, The Rare Condition That Paralyzed Justin Bieber's Face
Image Credits: justinbieber/Instagram

New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber recently revealed that he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which has caused face paralysis to the right side of his face. In the video, he also showed that he can't blink from the right eye, can't move his nostrils and also can't smile. Due to this, he had to cancel his world tour as well. But many people are unaware of this syndrome. Know about Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, its symptoms, treatments and other information related to it.

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is a rare neurological disorder, which causes a rash affecting the ear or mouth and paralysis of the facial nerve. Moreover, it also causes hearing loss and ear abnormalities like ringing in the ears. This syndrome is caused by the same virus which causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults and that virus is called 'varicella-zoster virus (VZV)'.

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Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), an individual diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome usually suffers from paralysis (palsy) of the facial nerve and a rash affecting the ear. However, the symptoms may differ from case to case. Face paralysis and rash affecting the ear do not always occur simultaneously. In case of facial paralysis, facial muscles get affected by nerve palsy and they may feel weak or stiff. It can lead to the inability to smile, wrinkle the forehead, close their eye on the affected side or slurred speech. In most cases, in individuals suffering from this syndrome, a reddish and painful rash occurs, which affects the outer portion of the ear and the external ear canal. It can also affect the mouth, soft palate, and top portion of the throat in some cases.

Causes of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Varicella-zoster virus causes the Ramsay Hunt syndrome and it also causes shingles and chicken pox. A person who had chickenpox can have this virus dormant for many years, which can shingles if the virus gets reactivated. In some cases, it can result in Ramsay Hunt syndrome. However, it is still unknown why the varicella-zoster virus gets reactivated and affects the facial nerve. This syndrome can be diagnosed through clinical evaluation. In the evaluation, detailed history of the patient and characteristics of the syndrome are identified.

Treatments of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

According to NORD, antiviral medications like acyclovir or famciclovir are involved in the treatment. The medication also includes pain medication, carbamazepine, and an anti-seizure medicine, which is given according to the patient's symptoms. Justin Bieber in his video also said that he is doing facial exercises as well.

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