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Post at: Aug 24 2022

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Why in News ?

  • In June, 2022, American Pop Singer Justin Bieber revealed that he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome ?

  • Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is neurological disease in which a virus (Varicella Zoster) causes inflmation of the nerves that involved in facial movements.
  • When the nerves get inflamed, they lose their ability to function, leading to temporary facial palsy or paralysis.
  • The facial muscles in the infected person cannot receive necessary signals to function properly.
  • The inflammation caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus makes the nerve ineffective.
  • Note there are 12 cranial nerves in the body.

Naming of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

  • Ramsay Hunt Syndrone was first documented by neurologist James Ramsay Hunt and hence was named after him.

Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

  • The symptoms include painful, red rash and blisters in and around the ear, and facial paralysis on the same side.
  • Patients also report hearing loss.
  • Tinnitus or ringing sounds.
  • Inability to close eye causes dryness.
  • Rash on the ear canal and the earlobe.
  • Rashness inside the mouth and on the tongue.

Virus Causing Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

  • Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) is responsible for occurrence of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
  • VZV also causes Chicken Pox and Shingles and can stay in the body as a latent infection.
  • It gets reactivated due to weakening of the immune system and is triggered by stress.
  • T-cell dyfunction caused by coronavirus infection can reactivate VZV.

Treatement of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

  • Anti viral drugs, steroids.
  • Physiotherapy and facial exercises.

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