Justin Bieber: Everything you need to know about Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Justin Bieber recently revealed rare disorder paralyzed half of his face

Olivia Petter
Saturday 11 June 2022 11:10 BST
Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber (Justin Bieber/Instagram)

Justin Bieber revealed to fans on social media that he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome and, as a result, had experienced paralysis in half of his face.

In a video shared on Instagram on Friday, the Grammy Award winner demonstrated that he could barely move one side of his face, calling the ailment “pretty serious”.

The singer also confirmed the diagnosis is why his shows in Toronto and Washington DC were cancelled.

“For those frustrated by my cancellations of the next shows, I’m just physically, obviously not capable of doing them,” he said.

“My body’s telling me I’ve got to slow down. I hope you guys understand.”

Here’s everything you need to know about Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

What is Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a rare neurological disorder.

It is characterised by a rash that occurs around the ear, face, or mouth and paralysis of the facial nerve.

What are the symptoms?

There are two main symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The first is a painful rash, often with blisters, in and around one ear.

The other main symptom is facial paralysis on the same side of the affected ear.

Both symptoms often occur at the same time, but one can flare up without the other.

Other possible signs of the condition include ear pain, hearing loss, tinnitus, dry mouth, and a change in taste.

What causes it?

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox and shingles.

It primarily affects adults over the age of 60 who have previously had chickenpox and it rarely affects children.

The condition can remain dormant in adults before it is activated as Ramsay Hunt syndrome; the reason for this is unknown.

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is not contagious, but it can be more severe for those with weakened immune systems.

How is it treated?

The virus is usually treated with steroids and antiviral medicines, such as acyclovir or valacyclovir.

Sometimes strong painkillers will be prescribed and, for those suffering from facial weakness, an eye patch may be given to prevent damage to the eye.

If the damage to the nerve is relatively low, most people should recover in a few weeks.

But if the damage is particularly severe, some people may never completely recover.

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