Justin Bieber's Facial Paralysis: What Is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome? by 30Seconds Health

2 years ago

Justin Bieber's Facial Paralysis: What Is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

Justin Bieber canceled a series of concerts in the next few weeks after being stricken with facial paralysis. The 28-year-old singer has Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

“As you can probably see by my face, I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt syndrome," said Bieber. "This virus attacks my ear nerve and my facial nerves. As you can see, this eye is not blinking, I can’t smile on this side of my face, this nostril doesn’t move.

“For those who are frustrated with my cancellations from upcoming shows, I’m just not physically able to do them,” he continued, explaining that he was partially paralyzed and therefore could not perform the shows.

But what exactly is Ramsay Hunt syndrome? According to neuroscientist and biologist,  Dr. Fabiano de Abreu Agrela, of the Society for Neuroscience, Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a painful rash around the ear, on the face or in the mouth, and is also known as herpes zoster oticus or herpes zoster of the geniculate ganglion. “It is a late complication of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection, resulting in inflammation of the geniculate ganglion of the cranial nerve CVII,” he explains.

“The varicella-zoster virus that causes Ramsay Hunt syndrome is the same virus that causes chickenpox and herpes zoster and affects the facial nerve near the inner ear," said Dr. Abreu. "This leads to irritation and swelling of the nerve."

This disease can manifest itself in different ways with different symptoms that can appear separately or together. The syndrome is disabling because it is quite painful and ends up causing paralysis. According to the neuroscientist, the early stages of the infection cause fever and diffuse vesicular rash, what we know as chickenpox. The virus then becomes inactive. When its reactivation happens, it causes a “zoster” or “herpes zoster” phenomenon.

The most common symptoms are: painful rash on the eardrum, ear canal, ear lobe, tongue and roof of the mouth on the side of the affected nerve, severe pain in the ear, hearing loss on one side, ringing in the ear, difficulty closing the eye, dry eyes and mouth, change in taste, vertigo and weakness on one side of the face, which causes food to fall from the weak corner of the mouth when eating.

With regard to treatments, the neuroscientist reveals that the treatment is done with corticosteroids and anti-virals. “Treatment should be started as soon as the first symptoms are revealed because it is the best way to have a full recovery, otherwise the sequelae can last forever,” Dr. Abreu explains.

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is not contagious. However, the herpes zoster virus, which can be found in the blisters around the ear, can be spread to other people and cause chickenpox in people who have not had the infection before. The risk of developing this disease is greater in immunosuppressed individuals, diabetic children or seniors who have suffered from chickenpox.

Source: MF Press Global

The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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Elisa Schmitz
I had not heard of this before. Many thanks for shedding light on this condition. I hope Justin recovers soon!
Julie Rose
Sending good thoughts ❤️

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