Ramsay Hunt: understand what is the syndrome that affects the singer Justin Bieber | EdiCase

Ramsay Hunt: understand what is the syndrome that affects the singer Justin Bieber
EdiCase writing

Ramsay Hunt: understand what is the syndrome that affects the singer Justin Bieber

The disease is called a syndrome because of the lesions and the need to treat the virus infection.

By Simone Valente

Justin Bieber recently took to social media to announce that he had facial paralysis, caused by Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. In the video, the singer talks about the condition and demonstrates that he cannot blink or move his mouth on one side of his face.

According to neurologist Viviane Moroni Felici, the disease that affected the Canadian artist is similar to Bell’s palsy, with the difference being the origin of the problem.

“Both syndromes refer to a peripheral facial paralysis. The difference is that Ramsay Hunt is triggered by herpes zoster in the ear. It forms bullous lesions that end up reaching the nerve, which inflames and causes paralysis”, says the doctor.

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What is herpes zoster?

Herpes zoster, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, is popularly known by other names, such as “shingles” or “itching”, and usually affects the trunk of patients. The lesions are usually quite painful. When it affects the ear, it causes Ramsay Hunt. And that can happen to anyone who had chickenpox as a child. That’s because the virus stays asleep, but, in a moment of low immunity, it can wake up.

“Because almost everyone has had chickenpox, there is no way to predict who will be affected, there is no risk group. Main disease symptom

is ear pain, which can be very strong due to injuries. Pain may even appear before these blisters. And, after they appear, or at the same moment, paralysis comes”, emphasizes Viviane.

The doctor also explains that the disease does not usually affect the same patient again and receives the title of syndrome because of the injuries and the need to treat the virus infection. And not because of paralysis, but because of the injuries, the disease can progress to meningitis and, therefore, treatment is extremely important.

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Treatment for Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

When it comes to treatment, Ramsay Hunt also differs from Bell’s palsy. This is because the patient will need to take antiviral drugs used in the treatment of herpes zoster infection.

“In general, when talking about recent peripheral facial paralysis, we always prescribe a corticosteroid for a week. At Ramsay, we come in with antivirals. After a period of about 15 days, we are referred for facial physiotherapy. This time is necessary because the patient has a lot of pain at the beginning, which would be uncomfortable during the exercises”, explains the doctor.

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Difference between the syndrome and stroke

It is worth mentioning that even after treatment, it is possible for the patient to have sequelae, with part of the face still paralyzed. In addition, even in cases without permanent sequelae, patients can take up to nine months to regain movement, which is the time it takes for the nerve to completely deflate.

“When we talk about this subject, it is important to point out the difference between the

peripheral and central. The peripheral, like Bell’s and Ramsay Hunt’s, takes up an entire half of the face, including the eye and forehead. In the central part, which is what CVA (Cerebral Vascular Accident) causes, only the lower part is affected. So, the person cannot smile, but the movement of the eye and eyebrows remains normal”, concludes Viviane Moroni Felici.

Check out more health news in the magazine ‘Taking care of health’

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Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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