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Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

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  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by paralysis of the facial nerve (facial palsy) and a rash affecting the ear or mouth caused by herpes zoster virus infection of the geniculate ganglion of the facial nerve. It is caused by reactivation of herpes zoster virus that has previously caused chickenpox in the patient. Symptoms include vesicular rash of the ear or mouth, onset of facial paresis/palsy, vertigo and hearing loss, tinnitus, otalgia, headaches, dysarthria, ataxia, fever and cervical adenopathy. Hearing loss is generally irreversible.
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    Ramsay Hunt syndrome 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. It affects men and women equally. People with a previous chickenpox can potentially develop Ramsay Hunt syndrome. In most cases it affects older adults, especially those over 60. It is treated using corticosteroids (prednisone) and oral antiviral drugs (acyclovir or valacyclovir), although the benefit of antiviral medications is uncertain.

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