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What is the Ramsay Hunt syndrome? Justin Bieber has is rare and is often misdiagnosed

A rare neurological illness known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome that causes facial paralysis is now receiving a lot of attention when it was reported that singer Justin Bieber is unable to smile or blink.

He informed his followers in a video posted on Instagram that he was receiving treatment for Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which is a complication of shingles. The 28-year-old has postponed his global tour as a result.

You are not the only one not familiar with it if you have never heard of it.

The very uncommon illness known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome is sometimes mistaken as Bell’s palsy, even though both conditions result in facial paralysis.

Because it is so uncommon, the precise number of individuals who have it is unknown; thus, those who have been diagnosed with it often rely on one another for emotional support and knowledge.

Since she was deeply affected by it seven years ago, Elizabeth Robinson has been making efforts to bring about the desired change.

What are the factors that lead to Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

People who have had chickenpox are more likely to get Ramsay Hunt syndrome since the two conditions are caused by the same virus.

You will always have the varicella-zoster virus in your body, but it won’t cause any problems until it becomes reactivated. Stress is the most common cause of this. This results in a painful rash that is known as shingles.

The rash from shingles may spread to the inner ear, then up the cranial nerves, and then down the facial nerves, causing inflammation in all of these nerves. This can lead to a condition known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

Facial paralysis is a direct result of this.

Shingles may also cause hearing loss by inflaming or crushing the auditory nerves, which can lead to permanent damage.

When Ms. Robinson, who was working as a teacher of French at the time, received the news that she had Ramsay Hunt syndrome in January of 2015, she was in the midst of an especially stressful period.

She has still not fully recovered from the serious disease that rendered 95 percent of the left side of her face paralyzed and rendered her hearing in her left ear nonexistent.

She said, “Since then, I’ve been unable to find a job in the education field.”

“It interferes with my ability to speak, as well as my hearing and my balance.”

What factors contribute to the development of Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

People who have previously been infected with chickenpox are more likely to develop Ramsay Hunt syndrome since the virus that causes both conditions is the same.

If the varicella-zoster virus is not reactivated, which happens when there is stress in the body, it will stay dormant and will not do any damage.

Shingles are the name of the excruciating rash that this condition generates.

Shingles may produce Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which is a complication that occurs when the rash spreads to the inner ear, then up the cranial nerves, and then down the facial nerves, causing inflammation in all of these neurons.

Facial paralysis is a consequence of this.

Shingles are known to cause hearing loss because they may inflame the auditory nerves or even crush them.

When Ms. Robinson, who was working as a teacher of French at the time, received the news that she had Ramsay Hunt syndrome in January of 2015, she was in the midst of an especially stressful period.

She has still not fully recovered from the serious disease that rendered 95 percent of the left side of her face paralyzed and made her deaf in her left ear.

She said, “Since then, I’ve been unable to find a job in the education field.”

My speech, my hearing, and my equilibrium are all affected by it.

Ms. Robinson was able to rule out the chance of having a stroke by utilizing the FAST technique, which is an acronym that stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech problems, and Time. She then waited to see the dentist, who then sent her to an emergency room.

She said, “By the time I arrived at the emergency room at nine o’clock that morning, the shingles had progressed to such an extreme degree that my ear was on fire, and it was bright red.”

The following are some symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome:

  • An ache in the head
  • Ear ache
  • Facial palsy
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Tinnitus or hearing loss might be an issue.
  • Eye discomfort due to dryness, watering, or both
  • Rashes or blisters filled with fluid that develop on the lips, tongue, or ears.
  • Facial Palsy UK is the source.

Because not all patients initially show a rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome is sometimes mistaken as Bell’s palsy. This is due to the facial paralysis that is characteristic of both conditions.

However, according to Ms. Robinson, the level of discomfort experienced is the primary distinction between the two.

In November of 2012, when Suchi Melissa was 30 weeks pregnant with her third child, she had a severe headache for the first time.

She was aware that it was a probable indicator of the pregnancy-related ailment and went to the hospital since she had previously had preeclampsia during her first pregnancy.

“Oh, here you go, take some Panadeine Forte,’ they were like. You should know that it’s simply a headache, we checked it out, and there isn’t anything more wrong with it,'” According to Ms. Melissa, the ABC reported.

“And my husband is like, ‘You’re blinking odd.’ when I’m sitting on the bed [in the hospital].

When we informed the nurses and the midwives what was going on, their response was, “It’s simply because of the headache and stress, you’re OK.”

They sent me back to my house. The next day, she was still blinking weirdly.”

Ms. Melissa said that she had gone to a medical facility, where it was advised to her that she need an ambulance.

She was advised that the steroid medication she was taking to treat the illness would cause her to go into labor before it was due since she was hospitalized for three days.

“I’ve had permanent facial paralysis,” Ms. Melissa added.

“The right half of my face seems to be moving somewhat as if I can blink once more, but it is not the same.”

“I was fortunate in that regard because it wasn’t in my ear; rather, it was in the back of my throat,” and as a result, “I haven’t had the long-term concerns with balance and hearing.”

How is the condition known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome treated?

Patients who are thought to have Ramsay Hunt syndrome should be given antivirals and steroids during the first three days after the onset of symptoms, according to Facial Palsy UK, a charity that offers assistance to individuals who are plagued with facial palsy owing to whatever reason.

According to what it states, around 70 percent of patients will have “nearly complete healing” if it is done.

In such a case, there is only a fifty percent probability of a complete recovery being possible.

According to what the organization has to say on the matter, “the more serious the injury, the longer it will take to heal, and the smaller the probability that you will restore normal function.”

Ms. Melissa said that throughout her time attending the support groups, she did not encounter anybody who had made a complete recovery.

“If they had it in their ear, their face may have healed, but their hearing and balance haven’t,” she added. “If they had it in their ear, their face might have recovered.”

At the end of the first six months, they say things like, ‘That’s as good as it’s going to get.’

Botox injections are given to the mother of two children once every three months to “level out” her face.

Ms. Melissa shared her experience, stating, “I’ll feel discomfort, like simply muscular tension on both sides, since it throws out the opposite side as well.”

Ms. Melissa expressed her sympathy for Justin Bieber, stating that she was aware of the struggles that he was through.

“There will probably be a lot of bad parallels made along the lines of “This is Justin Bieber before, and this is him now.”

“Because it affects your face, this sickness is particularly horrible.

“You go up to someone and say hi, and you immediately notice that they are oddly gazing at you. That is dreadful.”

Although there is currently no treatment for Ramsay Hunt syndrome, the severity of shingles may be mitigated by receiving a vaccination against the condition.

Within the first three days, Ms. Polina was given antivirals; but, her paralysis was so severe that she required more therapy, which she did not get.

Since then, she has been an ardent supporter of efforts to increase public awareness of the Ramsay Health condition.

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Kelvin is the founder and CEO of 360Affairs, a content creation company. He's been a content marketer and SEO expert for over 5 years and writes for different platforms on blogging and website strategy.
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