Ramsay Hunt syndrome: the disease that paralyzes Justin Bieber's face

Justin Bieber's disease
Immediate and total impact
What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?
Painful blisters
Usually affects people older than Bieber
Associated with chickenpox
It's not usually serious but...
Causes of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Other symptoms
permanent hearing loss
Permanent damage to the cornea
Prevention of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Diagnosis and treatment of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Reduce pain and control complications
Antivirals, pain relievers and rest
Justin will return to the stage
Justin Bieber's disease

A video on Instagram has shocked the world. Justin Bieber shows a strange grimace and explains: "As you can see, this eye is not blinking, I can't smile on this side of my face, this nostril will not move. So, there's full paralysis on this side of my face."

Immediate and total impact

The video shared by Justin Bieber on Instagram had an immediate impact on millions of people around the world. What ailment had afflicted the star?

"I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome"

After suspending several concerts of his 'Justice' world tour, Bieber showed his face and, incidentally, made visible the health problem he had: "I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, and it is from this virus that attacks the facial nerves in my ear and causes paralysis. This is pretty serious, as you can see."

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome causes peripheral facial paralysis that usually appears together with a vesicular eruption in or near the ear. It's caused by herpes zoster oticus (also known as shingles), which also causes chickenpox. In this case, it adversely affects a nerve in the head, as stated in a text from the Mayo Clinic.

Painful blisters

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome consists of a painful rash that can occur on the ear, face, or mouth, causing, in addition to facial paralysis, hearing loss in the affected ear.

Photo: Mark Paton / Unsplash

Usually affects people older than Bieber

In general, Ramsay Hunt Syndrome affects adults, especially those over 60 years of age, as collected by the Medline Plus portal. Justin Bieber (1998) is a rare exception.

Photo: Sharon Waldron / Unsplash

Associated with chickenpox

Of course, despite how unpleasant Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is, due to the blisters on the face, it is not contagious. What is very contagious is chickenpox, which is associated with this syndrome (it usually appears after infection with this disease).

It's not usually serious but...

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome can be more severe only in people who have problems with their immune system.

Photo: Wladislaw Peljuchno / Unsplash

Causes of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome appears in people who have had chickenpox. Despite the recovery, the virus remains in the body and can reactivate over the years, creating this painful blistering rash.

Photo: Hayes Potter / Unsplash

Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

The two main symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome are a painful, infected rash in or around the ear and facial paralysis on the same side of the face as the infected ear.

Photo: Amanda Dalbjorn / Unsplash

Other symptoms

However, this syndrome can also cause hearing loss, ringing and intense pain in the ears, difficulty closing the eye, dizziness, loss of taste, and dry mouth and eyes.

Photo: Kimia Zarifi / Unsplash

permanent hearing loss

If Ramsay Hunt Syndrome gets complicated, it could lead to permanent hearing loss, although it is normal for it to be temporary.

Photo: Mark Paton / Unsplash

Permanent damage to the cornea

Something similar happens with the eyes because the difficulty in closing the eyelid can damage the cornea, leading to blurred vision and eye damage.

Photo: Brianna Amick / Pexels

Prevention of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

The best way to prevent Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is through the chickenpox vaccine, which considerably reduces the chances of becoming infected with this virus. For prevention, a shingles vaccine is also recommended, according to the Mayo Clinic, starting at age 50.

Diagnosis and treatment of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

The diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome goes through recognizing symptoms and doing a physical examination of the patient. However, to confirm the infection, you should take a sample of fluid from one of the ear blisters and blood.

Photo: Roberto Carrafa / Pexels

Reduce pain and control complications

With the confirmed diagnosis, the treatment of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome involves mitigating pain and avoiding medium or long-term complications.

Photo: Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash

Antivirals, pain relievers and rest

Thus, antivirals will serve to combat the virus; corticosteroids will potentiate the effect of antivirals and analgesics will reduce the intense pain. In the case of vertigo, the Mayo Clinic bet on anti-anxiety medications such as Diazepam.

Photo: Elyas Pasban / Unsplash

 

Justin will return to the stage

Having reviewed the characteristics of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, it is clear that Justin Bieber's is a transitory disorder and that, with good care, it will disappear. So, hopefully, we will see Justin on stage again in a little while.

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