Ramsay Hunt syndrome (herpes zoster oticus) occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of your ears. In addition to the painful shingles rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After chickenpox clears, the virus lies dormant in your nerves. Years later, it may reactivate. If the virus reactivates and affects your facial nerve, the result is Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
Prompt treatment of Ramsay Hunt syndrome can reduce your risk of complications, which can include permanent facial muscle weakness and deafness.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome can affect patients at any age. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
The common symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome are:
Usually, the rash and the facial paralysis develop at the same time. But in some cases, the rash will occur before the facial paralysis or the paralysis before the rash. Sometimes the rash never materializes.
If you have Ramsay Hunt syndrome, you might also experience:
Complications of Ramsay Hunt syndrome may include:
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
Call your doctor if you experience facial paralysis or a shingles rash on your face. Treatment beginning within three days of the start of signs and symptoms may help prevent long-term complications.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome occurs in people who’ve had chickenpox. Once you recover from chickenpox, that virus can lie dormant in your body for years — sometimes reactivating in later years to cause shingles, a painful rash with fluid-filled blisters.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a shingles outbreak that affects the facial nerve near one of your ears. It typically also causes varying degrees of one-sided facial paralysis and hearing loss.
There are many risk factors for this condition, such as:
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
Doctors often can identify Ramsay Hunt syndrome based on medical history, a physical exam and the disorder’s distinctive signs and symptoms. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor might take a sample of fluid from one of the rash blisters in your ear for testing.
Prompt treatment of Ramsay Hunt syndrome can ease pain and decrease your risk of long-term complications. Medications may include:
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What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage Ramsay Hunt syndrome?The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome:
If facial weakness makes it difficult for you to close one of your eyes, take the following steps to protect your vision:
Children are now routinely vaccinated against chickenpox, which greatly reduces the chances of them becoming infected with the naturally occurring chickenpox virus. A shingles vaccine for people age 60 or older also is recommended
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.