Justin Bieber raises awareness of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome


JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Pop star Justin Bieber announced on Instagram on Friday that he has a condition called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, also known as RHS.

In one video, Bieber shows paralysis on one side of his face that left him unable to perform.

“As you can see that eye isn’t blinking…I can’t smile on that side of my face,” Bieber said in the social media video to his fans. “This nostril will not move. So there is complete paralysis on that side of my face.

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The diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and shingles.

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The syndrome “occurs when an outbreak of shingles affects the facial nerve near one of your ears.”

According to Dr. Vandana Bhide, Ramsay Hunt syndrome already exists in your body if you have had viruses or vaccines.

“It can activate in anyone at any age, which I know is scary because you hope there’s a way to prevent it, but there really isn’t,” said Bhide, assistant professor at the University of Arizona School of Medicine.

According to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, symptoms may include:

  • Severe pain in the ear

  • Painful rash

  • Hearing loss on one side

  • vertigo

  • Paralysis on one side of the face

“It can be very serious. For the most part it doesn’t cause death, but it can cause a lot of disability, especially in the ears or around the eyes,” Bhide said.

As for treatments, steroids such as prednisone can be used to reduce inflammation and medication can be given for pain. Antiviral drugs that help with the herpes family may also be prescribed.

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