Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a rare neurological disorder caused by herpes zoster virus infection of the facial nerve. It occurs when a shingles infection affects the facial nerve. In addition to the shingles rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear. Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. 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.