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Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

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  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    Ramsay Hunt syndrome (also termed Hunt's Syndrome and herpes zoster oticus) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by paralysis of the facial nerve (facial palsy) and a rash affecting the ear or mouth. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After chickenpox heals, the virus lies dormant in nerves and years later, it may reactivate. If the virus reactivates and affects the facial nerve, the result is Ramsay Hunt syndrome. It is said to be the cause of 16% of all causes of facial palsies in children, and 18% of facial palsies in adults. It is the presumed cause of as many as 20% of clinically diagnosed cases of Bell palsy.
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    Symptoms include Vesicular rash of the ear or mouth, onset of facial paresis/palsy, ipsilateral lower motor neuron facial paresis/palsy, vertigo and hearing loss, tinnitus, otalgia, headaches, dysarthria, ataxia, fever and cervical adenopathy. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is commonly treated using Corticosteroids and oral antiviral drugs. Steroids (such as prednisone) are usually prescribed for 5-7 days. Antivirals such as acyclovir or valacyclovir, can be given for 7-10 days, although the benefit of antiviral medications is uncertain. Delay of treatment may result in permanent facial nerve paralysis.

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