Pop singer Justin Bieber announced in an Instagram post on Friday that he has Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a rare condition that causes him partial facial paralysis. The 28-year-old also said he would cancel his upcoming tour dates as he is “physically, obviously not able to do them”.
“As you can see, this eye is not blinking, I can’t smile on this side of my face, this nostril will not move,” Mr. Bieber explained in the Instagram video.
He did not give an estimated timeline for his recovery.
What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?
According to the United States government’s National Library of Medicine, the neurological condition of Ramsay Hunt syndrome caused by the varicella zoster virus which affects the nerves involved in facial movements. It is also known as zona oticus.
Varicella zoster is the same virus that causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults.
When nerves are inflamed, they lose their ability to function properly, which can cause facial paralysis or paralysis.
The disease can also cause painful rashes and blisters affecting the ear and mouth.
What are the symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome?
Signs and symptoms of Ramsey Hunt syndrome can include pain, dizziness, hearing loss, sensitivity to sound, tinnitus (a chronic ringing in the ears) and loss of taste, according to a report on morbidity and mortality published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.
Additional symptoms include altered taste sensation, dry eyes, tearing, hyperacusis, nasal obstruction, and dysarthria.
The progression of the disease
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is the second most common cause of facial paralysis, according to the National Library of Medicine. He said early and correct treatment must be done to avoid complications, such as permanent facial nerve dysfunction.
The disease progresses rapidly and manifests itself fully in two to three days. While initially the patient may complain of difficulty closing their eyes and facial weakness, this can lead to permanent weakness and long-term complications if not treated quickly.
Studies have shown that people who received treatment within the first three days of diagnosis made a full recovery.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Treatment
The most common treatments for Ramsay Hunt syndrome are medications that treat the viral infection. There are cases where patients were also given steroids.
Patients are also advised to undergo physical therapy so that the movement of the affected part is not severely restricted.
Antihistamines can help relieve symptoms of vertigo, such as lightheadedness or the feeling that the room is spinning, according to Healthline. Eye drops or similar liquids can help keep your eyes lubricated and prevent corneal damage, he added.