- People with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome have reacted to Justin Bieber’s diagnosis.
- The singer announced last week that half of his face was temporarily paralyzed by the syndrome.
- They range from debilitating dizziness to long-lasting facial paralysis like Bieber’s.
People with Ramsay Hunt syndrome – a rare complication that follows a viral infection – are reacting to news that Justin Bieber had to cancel a series of shows after contracting the disease.
The 28-year-old singer announced his diagnosis in an Instagram post on Friday. Bieber demonstrated that half of his face was paralyzed.
“As you can see this eye is not blinking, I cannot smile on this side of my face, this nostril is not moving. So there is complete paralysis on this side of my face,” he said. he stated in the post.
Ramsay Hunt is a rare complication of the common virus that causes chickenpox and shingles, as reported by Insider’s Gabby Landsverk.
Nicoya Rescorla, who has been living with the syndrome for 20 months, said the singer’s announcement brought tears to her eyes.
Speaking to Reuters, Rescorla said: “It’s heartwarming that he’s raising awareness.”
Rescorla, a 28-year-old mother of three living in the UK, said the disease had had a “huge impact” on her daily life.
Its symptoms include bouts of dizziness and vertigo. She can no longer drive or leave the house on her own, she said. She must drink all liquids through a straw, even coffee, she told Reuters.
“I went from being so independent, fiercely independent, to having my husband take care of me because I couldn’t do it myself,” she said.
Some of the symptoms of the disease may become permanent, but most improve with treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic.
After a chickenpox infection, the virus can survive in the nerves and can be reactivated years after the primary infection is cleared, according to the site.
The chickenpox vaccination, which is routinely given during childhood, can reduce the risk of infection, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“Don’t worry girls, we’re in this together,” TikTok star Callum Gravestock, who says he contracted the disease in recent weeks, said in a post.
Gravestock said that after describing his symptoms to the UK emergency services, including a rash on his face and neck and partial paralysis, an ambulance was sent to his house “just to make sure I wasn’t going not have a stroke”.
He described still having partial facial paralysis and hearing loss in one ear shortly after the end of a week after his steroid treatment.
Mikaela Pretorius developed the disease in November 2014. She told Australian broadcaster ABC News that she felt for Bieber as she could imagine his distress.
For her, the symptoms never completely disappeared.
“I have permanent facial paralysis,” Pretorius said. “My right side of my face has a bit of movement, like I can blink again, but it’s not the same,” she said.
According to her, no one in her patient support group has fully recovered, although many have improved.
Common treatment for Ramsay Hunt syndrome consists of antiviral drugs and steroids, according to the association of patients with rare diseases NORD. Most symptoms will improve with treatment, but in some cases some may become permanent, says NORD.
Bieber said he hoped his symptoms would improve.
“I’m going to get better,” Bieber said in his Instagram post on Friday. “I’m doing all these facial exercises to get my face back to normal, and it will go back to normal.”