What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?


What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

However, out of the blue,  one side of the face may suddenly become weak or even paralyzed.  If that is all that happens, this condition would be called Bell’s Palsy.  However, if significant ear pain and a vesicular rash on the outer ear also develop on the same side of the facial paralysis, then this condition would be known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

Also known as herpes zoster oticus, it is a rare yet severe condition caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus that causes shingles and chickenpox.

Sign Symptom Of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome:-

symptoms that may also be present include same-sided sudden hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo. Painful vesicular lesions may also appear on the same side anterior tongue and hard palate. To understand what is happening, let Us first consider the normal situation. The nerve that controls all facial movement,  whether smiling or closing the eye,  actually originates from a single nerve that comes out from behind the ear.

Facial nerve:-

  1. Known as the facial nerve, the main trunk divides into 5 main branches.
  2. The temporal branch controls the forehead muscle.
  3. The zygomatic branch helps close your eye.
  4. The buccal branch moves the upper lip to make a smile…
  5. Whereas the marginal mandibular branch moves the lower lip to express a frown.
  6. The cervical branch controls the platysma muscle which covers the neck and chin.

When the herpes zoster virus attacks and damages the facial nerve, all downstream branches of the facial
nerve are also affected resulting in weak movement or paralysis of the entire half of the face.

Because the facial nerve anatomically travels right next to the vestibulocochlear nerve and ear canal, auditory symptoms of pain, hearing loss, tinnitus,  and vertigo occur along with the characteristic
vesicular rash in and even around the ear.

Treatment of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome:-

Treatment typically involves oral

steroids, anti-viral medications, and neuro-modulating drugs to alleviate any pain.

Physical therapy to stimulate the facial nerve may also be helpful.

Treatment of the vesicular rash may involve steroid and antibiotic ointments and/or ear drops.

If there is not much damage to the nerve, you should get better completely within a few weeks.

If damage is more severe, you may not fully recover, even after several months. Overall, your chances of recovery are better if the treatment is started within 3 days after the symptoms begin.


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