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Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

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  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    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. 

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    Common symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome include 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. It is treated using corticosteroids (prednisone) and oral antiviral drugs (acyclovir or valacyclovir), although the benefit of antiviral medications is uncertain. Immunization against Varicella zoster may help in preventing relapse of the disease.

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