What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which has left Justin Bieber with partial face paralysis

Singer Justin Bieber's revelation about his health condition has put Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a neurological disorder, in the spotlight.
justin bieber
Singer Justin Bieber has revealed he was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 11 Jun 2022, 15:21 pm IST
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Popular international singer Justin Bieber, who has been touring, put out a shocking social media video, revealing that he’s currently dealing with partial face paralysis. The condition is medically called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.

The Canadian singer, who started his career as a teenager and went on to give chartbusters such as Baby and Believe, was due to perform in Toronto and Washington DC. However, due to his condition, he had to cancel the shows.

In the video, he demonstrated the state of his face after being hit by the rare syndrome. He points out how his facial nerves have been affected to such an extent that he’s unable to blink his eye, smile or move his nostrils on on side of his face. “This is pretty serious,” asserts the 28-year-old singer.

Watch the video right here!

A Grammy winner, Bieber wanted to personally explain the cancelled events to his fans, and said, “For those frustrated by my cancellations of the next shows, I’m just physically, obviously not capable of doing them… I wish this wasn’t the case, but obviously my body is telling me I gotta slow down. I hope you guys understand”.

While Bieber looks visibly upset, he is determined to “rest and relax” enough to bounce back “to do what I was born to do”.

“I’ve got to go get my rest on, so I can get my face back to where it’s supposed to be… I am going to get better… it’s gonna be okay,” adds the singer.

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Unsure about the time he would take to heal completely, he is, however, quite hopeful that with the right treatment and a set of facial exercises which he is already doing, he will beat Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

According to the US National Library of Medicine, Ramsay Hunt syndrome, also known as herpes zoster oticus or geniculate ganglion herpes zoster, is a complication of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection. It results in inflammation in a specific cranial nerve.

It is named for James Ramsay Hunt, an American neurologist and army officer in World War I.

The National Organization for Rare Disorder explains that Ramsay Hunt Syndrome can entail paralysis of the facial nerve (facial palsy), as well as a rash affecting the ear or mouth.

The syndrome may cause ear pain! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Those afflicted by it may also experience ear issues such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss too sometimes.

Symptoms of this condition may differ from person to person. Here are some common signs:

* Paralysis (palsy) of the facial nerve
* A rash affecting the ear.

It is important to note that these two symptoms may not always happen at the same time. And most often, just one side of the face is affected. It may lead to difficulty in smiling, wrinkling the forehead or closing their eye on the affected side. At times, speech may also become slurred as a result of one side of the mouth getting stiff.

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