Justin Bieber was forced to postpone many tour dates due to health concerns after contracting Ramsay Hunt syndrome from a viral illness. “As you can see, this eye isn’t blinking,” Bieber stated in a video on Instagram. “On this side of my face, I can’t smile. This nose will not move, therefore this side of my face is completely paralyzed.”
Dr. James O’Donovan, a YouTuber and medical educator, describes Ramsay Hunt as a consequence of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox, in a new video on his channel.” Ramsay Hunt syndrome arises when there is an epidemic of the varicella-zoster virus, which attacks the facial nerve near one of your ears,” he explains. “The initial indication or symptom of Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a painful red rash with fluid-filled blisters on, within, or around one ear. Second, on the same side as the damaged ear, you may have facial paralysis or drooping. Typically, the rash and facial paralysis occur at the same time, although one might develop before the other, and the rash may never appear.”
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Other less frequent symptoms include ear discomfort, hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, a change in your sensation of taste caused by the damaged nerves, and trouble shutting one eye. This third symptom may be rather dangerous, since if the eye cannot completely seal, the surface of the eye will soon dry up, resulting in corneal irritation.
“Typically, a detailed history and a decent clinical examination are sufficient to diagnose Ramsay Hunt,” adds O’Donovan. He goes on to say that immediate therapy generally consists of seven days of antiviral medicine, high dosage steroids, and pain alleviation.
“Timely intervention, particularly with steroids and antivirals, may affect prognosis,” he says. “Early detection and initiation of steroids and antiviral medication during the first 72 hours are regarded to enhance the possibility of a good recovery.”