Ramsay Hunt Syndrome: Justin Bieber got this strange disease

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In an Instagram post, Bieber revealed he has been diagnosed with a disorder known as ‘Ramsay Hunt Syndrome that has completely disabled the face’s right side. What exactly is it? Is it treatable? We explain.

After announcing the cancellation of three shows on his world tour, Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber on Saturday (June 11) declared that he had been experiencing an intermittent facial paralysis.He said he had to pull out of the dates of his tour because the condition could not “physically, obviously not capable of doing them.”

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome: Justin Bieber got this strange disease
In an Instagram post, Bieber revealed he has been diagnosed with a disorder called ‘Ramsay Hunt Syndrome that has completely affected the right side of his face. (Justin Bieber/ Instagram)

Justin Bieber Instagram Post

In an Instagram post, Bieber revealed he has been diagnosed with a disorder called ‘Ramsay Hunt Syndrome that has completely affected the right side of his face.

“As you can see, my eye isn’t blinking. I’m unable to smile with this side of my face… That’s why there’s complete paralysis on that part of my face.” He declared.

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What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, or herpes zoster oticus is a rare neurological condition that can cause the facial nerve being paralyzed and a rash which generally is affecting the mouth or ear. It can cause hearing ringing, or tinnitus. It can also cause hearing loss.

“It is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis,” Bieber stated in the video.

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The illness originates from the exact virus which causes chickenpox among children and shingles for adultsthe varicella zoster virus. It usually occurs when a shingles flare is affecting the facial nerve close to your ear. It is most commonly associated with an itch that is painful from shingles but it can also cause facial paralysis as well as losing hearing, in severe instances.

The condition can be seen in any person who has experienced chickenpox. It is more frequent in older people especially those over 60. The common occurrence with chickenpox is that the virus remains within the nerves. After a while, it could be active again and cause damage to the facial nerves, resulting in the condition known as Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.

According to an article from The New York Times, approximately 5-10% of 100,000 people be diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome each year.

Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

The most commonly reported symptoms include a red rainy rash on the ears, facial weakness, and paralysis.

Hearing loss, ear pain as well as tinnitus, dry eyes and mouth, as well as difficulty closing one’s eyes are other common signs of this condition.

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Is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome contagious?

Reactivation of the virus may trigger the occurrence of chickenpox for those who have never previously experienced the disease or been vaccinated for it.

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Treatment

Although the condition is almost always gone however, there are rare occasions when hearing loss and facial paralysis could last a lifetime, medical professionals informed The New York Times.

Patients suffering of Ramsay Hunt are generally prescribed anti-viral medications and, in more severe instances the use of steroids.

In an Instagram message, Bieber said that he was doing facial exercises.

Does there exist a connection with Covid-19?

A few studies suggest that there could be a link between the Covid-19 vaccine and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. A study carried out at the Graduate Medical Education, Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences found the possibility that there “may be a possible association between Covid-19 vaccine and shingles.”

Another study , conducted by a team of researchers from an organization called the Department of Neurosurgery, Tulane Center for Clinical Neurosciences, Tulane University School of Medicine claims that vaccine-related cases of herpes zoster are reported all over the world.


What causes Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. When chickenpox is gone however, the virus remains within the nerves of your body. In the years to come, it might be reactivated. If the condition occurs, it will affect the facial nerves.

How can you tell the differences of Ramsay Hunt syndrome and Bell’s palsy?

In comparison to Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis with no rash) Patients suffering from Ramsay Hunt syndrome often have greater severity of paralysis upon onset in addition to being less likely fully recover.

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How can you tell the differences between the two conditions? Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt syndrome happens when shingles affects nerves that are located on your face, close to or both of your ears. Shingles that affect both ears is a condition that is caused by a virus known as herpes zoster and oticus. The varicella-zoster common virus causes chicken pox. It is more frequent in children.

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