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Ramsay Hunt syndromeRamsay Hunt syndromeMostly caused by the herpes zoster auricular virus, although it may result from a previous infection with the chickenpox virus, which can leave its traces in the body, as it activates after a while causing Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which affects the facial nerve and may extend to the brain, and Hunt disease causes different symptoms according to The type of syndrome that affects a person, named after its discoverer, Dr. James Ramsey Hunt, the famous doctor, a neurologist, as there are 3 known types that may affect humans, and each type has symptoms that distinguish it from the other.


What is Ramsay Hunt disease?

Scientific name of the disease Ramsay Hunt syndrome
Other names Literal paralysis, Hunt’s disease, otic herpes zoster
disease classification neurosis
Medical specialty Neurology
Symptoms of the disease Skin rash, paralysis on one side of the face, convulsions, tremors, dizziness and earache, deafness, blisters and bubbles in the skin.
degree of disease spread rare
Medications Antivirals, corticosteroids, NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Types of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and its causes

There are 3 syndromes of Ramsay Hunt syndrome, each bearing the same name, which dates back to its discoverer in the eighteenth century, the famous neurologist James Ramsey Hunt, and these types share some symptoms, including dizziness and facial paralysis, as follows:

Cerebellar Ramsey Hunt syndrome

Herpes virus infection results in atrophy of the cerebellum, which is a rare type of this syndrome, and is accompanied by symptoms including tremors, muscle spasms, and dementia.

Shingles streptococcus

The name of this syndrome is due to the type of virus that causes it, where the herpes zoster virus is activated, and the patient develops symptoms different from the first type, including dizziness and ear pain that may reach deafness, and paralysis on one side of the face can also occur.

Hunt’s disease or literal paralysis

The third type of these syndromes is very rare, in which a disorder of the facial nerve occurs, usually causing facial paralysis on one side.


Causes of Hunt’s disease

Causes of Hunt's disease
Causes of Hunt’s disease

The most important cause of Ramsey Hunt syndrome is the herpes zoster virus, but the previous infection of the elderly patient with chickenpox may cause the reactivation of the virus and infect the patient with Hunt’s disease, as any virus remains in a state of inactivity in the body as long as the body’s immune system is active and effective, but As soon as the body’s immune system weakens, the virus activates and attacks the body, causing neuropathy and other symptoms that can be controlled if the patient starts treatment early, although some symptoms may persist after the treatment period, including facial paralysis.

See also: Facial nerve.


Factors that increase the risk of developing Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Hunt’s disease can be treated easily if it is detected early and taking the appropriate medications for the condition. Recovery is achieved in three days in many cases, but if the diagnosis is delayed, treatment and recovery may be delayed, and the following factors increase the risk of infection:

  • pregnancy.
  • Other immunodeficiency diseases.
  • Newborns.
  • A person infected for the first time and has not previously had chickenpox.
  • Patients with impaired renal function or other similar diseases.

Signs and symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Symptoms of any disease help to diagnose it correctly, and the symptoms do not necessarily meet all in the patient or in all types of Ramsay syndrome. The most important symptoms that characterize Hunt’s disease are the following:

  • Difficulty speaking, often due to paralysis of the half of the face.
  • Neck pain, loss of taste in some cases.
  • Dizziness with severe pain sometimes in the ear, and tinnitus that may end with deafness.
  • Eyelashes are affected and stop blinking, which leads to dry eyes.
  • A rash may be accompanied by bubbles with fluid, especially around the ear area, which is painful.
  • Paralysis of one side of the face depending on the location of the nerve affected by the virus.

Complications of Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Hunt’s disease of all kinds may cause serious complications to health and affect the person in his daily life and activities, which are:

  • Synchronous movements, which are a kind of nervous movements that are not compatible with the patient’s will, so his eyes blink when he laughs or speaks, for example.
  • Facial muscle paralysis that persists after treatment and becomes permanent.
  • The virus may spread in the brain, causing meningitis.
  • Post-injury neuropathy due to damage to one of the affected nerves.
  • Inflammation of the cornea of ​​the eye or in the conjunctiva.

How is Ramsay Hunt syndrome diagnosed?

Hunt’s disease is easily diagnosed through normal symptoms, especially dizziness, paralysis of the face, neck and ear pain, but the attending physician should take the patient’s medical history, and the patient should also ask about his previous infection with chickenpox as soon as he suspects that the patient has Hunt’s disease.

But if the matter is confused with the doctor and it is difficult to diagnose, the doctor may resort to requesting a serial polymer analysis that detects the presence of viruses, confirms the infection and explains its type so that the doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment as soon as possible to help the patient recover quickly, as a sample of the fluid formed inside can be obtained. Skin pimples.

“You can watch: Smallpox”


Ramsay Hunt syndrome treatment

Ramsay Hunt syndrome treatment
Ramsay Hunt syndrome treatment

Hunt’s syndrome can be treated faster if it is detected early and treatment is started directly, especially in the first three days. This makes the cure rate high, which may reach three-quarters of patients, but there remains a percentage that constitutes a quarter of patients with this disease whose recovery may be delayed and they need a longer time to recover.

Medicines used to treat the disease:

  • Antiviral drugs, including Zovirax.
  • corticosteroids.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Antihistamines.
  • Eye drops to prevent dehydration.
  • antispasmodic;

Vaccines used to prevent disease:

  • Chickenpox vaccine.
  • The new vaccine (Brivudine) is called Zostax.

Read also: Chickenpox


When should you get emergency medical help?

Any urgent matter requires calling an ambulance and requesting emergency help, in cases of extreme danger that may endanger the patient, including:

  • Severe dizziness that leads to fainting requires medical intervention.
  • Shortness of breath and affected facial and oral nerves that may prevent the patient from communicating.
  • Complete paralysis of the face.
  • Injury to the pregnant woman and fear for her or her fetus due to severe symptoms.

How to prevent Hunt’s disease

Vaccines allow control of many viral diseases, and in the case of Hunt’s disease, it can be prevented by using its own vaccines, such as the chickenpox vaccine, which reduces the chance of infection with chickenpox and thus ensures that the second type of Hunt’s syndrome is not infected, and there is a Zostax vaccine that has great effectiveness. In the prevention of Hunt’s disease, especially in the elderly who have previously had chickenpox.

Also watch: Seventh Neuralgia


Celebrities with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Celebrities with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Celebrities with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a rare disease, but it recently affected Canadian singer Justin Bieber, who announced his own injury on social media, and the paralysis on one side of his face was evident, and he reassured his fans and fans of his interest in treatment so that he would recover quickly and return to them.

Justin Bieber became the talk of the hour as soon as the news leaked and he confirmed his injury, and Canadian Bieber was not the first celebrity whose names topped the media pages on various social media because they had rare diseases, but many of them preceded him with various diseases, including George Clooney, who suffered from facial paralysis and many others.

Watch also: Justin Bieber’s face paralysis


Frequently asked questions about Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Do children get Hunt syndrome?

Hunt’s disease is rare and affects adults, especially after the age of sixty.

Is shingles syndrome Hunt’s syndrome?

Hunt’s syndrome is a form of shingles, and it is called shingles auricular because the herpes virus is the cause.

Is there a relationship between chickenpox and Hunt’s disease?

Yes, the chickenpox virus causes the second type of Ramsay Hunt syndrome.


Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a viral disease that affects the facial nerve and may reach the brain. The name of this syndrome is due to its discoverer, Dr. James Ramsay Hunt, the famous neurologist, and it has 3 known types that may affect humans, each with symptoms that distinguish it from the other. One of them recently hit Canadian singer Justin Bieber.