On Friday, Justin Bieber announced that he has Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a rare condition that has paralyzed half his face.It is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis,” Mr. Bieber, the pop singer, said in a video posted to his Instagram account, gesturing at the side of his head. “As you can see, this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face. This nostril will not move.”He said that he would cancel his upcoming tour dates, as he is “physically, obviously not capable of doing them.”We spoke to health experts about the causes and treatments of the illness.Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a neurological condition caused by varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults. The virus can linger in your body for your entire life, even long after you have recovered from chickenpox, and reawaken to irritate and inflame the nerves in your face.The nerves that go through your face go through pretty narrow, bony canals, and when they’re inflamed they swell and lose the ability to function,” said Dr. Anna Wald, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Washington School of Medicine.The illness and can result in paralysis on one side of the face and painful, blistering rashes. It is more common in older people, and some patients experience changes in their hearing, perhaps perceiving sounds louder in one ear than another or developing tinnitus (a chronic ringing in the ears) or even deafness in one ear. Ear and facial pain is commonly a part of the syndrome, and some patients may suffer from vertigo.Only about five to 10 out of every 100,000 people will develop Ramsay Hunt syndrome each year. “It can happen to anyone,” said Dr. Waleed Javaid, director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York. “But it’s not something that people should be afraid of.”The syndrome is officially known as herpes zoster oticus; its more common name comes from the neurologist James Ramsay Hunt, who first described the illness.It can take a long time for people with the syndrome to receive an accurate diagnosis, The term Ramsay Hunt is and the illness can have symptoms similar to Bell’s palsy, which can also induce facial paralysis. Doctors usually diagnose Ramsay Hunt syndrome by identifying small blisters that have appeared in a patient’s ear, said Dr. Wald.It can take a long time for people with the syndrome to receive an accurate diagnosis, The term Ramsay Hunt is and the illness can have symptoms similar to Bell’s palsy, which can also induce facial paralysis. Doctors usually diagnose Ramsay Hunt syndrome by identifying small blisters that have appeared in a patient’s ear, said Dr. Wald.Most people who have Ramsay Hunt make a full recovery, although the duration of the disease can vary, said Dr. Michael Ison, a professor of infectious diseases at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. “Some people, it takes weeks. Some people, it takes months,” he said. In rare cases, though, facial paralysis or hearing loss can be permanent.Treatment for Ramsay Hunt typically involves taking anti-viral medication. Some patients may also be prescribed a steroid, Dr. Wald said. Physical therapy is not usually recommended for patients, she said, but would not be harmful.Mr. Bieber said in his Instagram post that he was practicing facial exercises as part of his healing. “I gotta go get my rest on,” he said, “so I can get my face back to where it’s supposed to be Bieber addressed those who have been frustrated by the of his concerts and said he’s “physically, obviously, not capable of doing them.””This is pretty serious, as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case, but, obviously, my body’s telling me I’ve got to slow down,” he said. “I hope you guys understand. I’ll be using this time to just rest and relax and get back to a hundred percent so that I can do what I was born to do.”He thanked his fans for being patient, said he’s been doing facial exercises to help. He said he doesn’t know how long it will take for him to recover, but earlier this week, it was that three of his upcoming performances were postponed.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome: What are the symptoms, treatments, info
Ramsay Hunt syndrome (herpes zoster oticus) occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of your ears. In addition to the painful shingles rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear.Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After chickenpox clears up, the virus still lives in your nerves. Years later, it may reactivate. When it does, it can affect your facial nerves.Prompt treatment of Ramsay Hunt syndrome can reduce the risk of complications, which can include permanent facial muscle weakness and deafness.Justin Bieber on Friday shared the reason he is taking a break from performing, telling his Instagram followers that he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome.The syndrome “occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of your ears,In addition to the painful shingles rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear.”Shingles, and by extension Ramsay Hunt, are caused by the virus that causes chickenpox. Those who get the syndrome had chickenpox when they were younger.In his Bieber described it as a “virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis.”As you can see, this eye is not blinking,” he said in the video, pointing to his face. “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.”A spokesperson for the singer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.In his Instagram video, he addressed fans who may be “frustrated” by the show cancelations.I’m just physically obviously not capable of doing them,” he said. “This is pretty serious as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case. But obviously my body’s telling me I gotta slow down. I hope you guys understand.”Bieber said he plans to use the time to rest and relax. He said he’s been doing facial exercises to help get his “face back to normal.”I gotta go get my rest on so that I can get my face back to where it’s supposed to be. I love you guys, thanks for being patient with me. I’m gonna get better.