Causing Justin Bieber Partial Paralysis
The 28-year-old Canadian singer Justin Bieber updated on Instagram that he has been infected by a virus so called Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which is causing him partial paralysis. Consequently, he had to cancel his upcoming shows on his latest due to the diagnosis. Bieber unravelled that he has been having difficulty eating & has requested earnestly his fans to keep him in their prayers while he recovers from the situation. Fans showered their love and good wishes on his social media accounts.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, also known as herpes zoster oticus, is a rare neurological disease caused by a virus so called varicella-zoster. This virus causes inflammation of the nerves involved in facial movements. When the nerves get inflamed, they lose their ability to function, leading to temporary facial palsy or paralysis; meaning that facial muscles in the infected person cannot receive necessary signals to function properly. It may also present as ear abnormalities, including ringing in the ears, earache, or hearing loss. After having chickenpox as a child or shingles as an adult, the varicella-zoster virus can lay dormant in the body. The disorder was first documented by neurologist James Ramsay Hunt. The virus reactivation and symptoms production of Ramsay Hunt is unknown.
The syndrome has been compared to Bell’s palsy, a condition that’s similar to sudden facial paralysis & is also deemed to be caused by a reactivation of a dormant viral infection. Ramsay Hunt syndrome typically has more severe and longer-lasting symptoms than Bell’s palsy & is also less common. About 5 per 100,000 people each year fall under Ramsay Hunt syndrome, while about 15 to 30 per 100,000 people each year fall under Bell’s palsy, according to medical database StatPearls. Children and adults of all ages are victims of this syndrome though the elderly are thought to be more susceptible to it. Medical experts say that men and women appear to be affected at a similar rate, though some studies have suggested that the syndrome may be slightly more common in women.
The syndrome can cause facial lesions, painful, red rash and blisters in and around the ear, a rash in one ear, ear pain and other issues, hypersensitivity to sound and balance problems. In rare cases, patients’ balance can also be so badly affected that they have severe nausea and vomiting. Some symptoms like hearing loss can be permanent and complications, including the development of synkinesis, can occur. Synkinesis refers to unwanted and involuntary facial movements that can hinder a person’s ability to smile or make other facial expressions. Because of the inner ear involvement, people with the condition may also suffer vertigo (the sensation of dizziness or things spinning around you), or tinnitus, a ringing in the ear.
Medications are the most common treatments for Ramsay Hunt syndrome that treat the virus infection. Patients have been given steroids too in some cases. The patients usually undergo physiotherapy so that the movement of affected part is not severely restricted. Antihistamines help with vertigo symptoms (such as dizziness or feeling like the room is spinning). Eye drops or similar fluids help keep eye lubricated & prevent cornea damage. Botulinum toxin, or Botox can help relax facial muscles, may be recommended. Patients may need to undergo surgery to fix the damaged facial nerve in very severe cases. However, Early treatment can reduce the risk of complications, & includes antiviral drugs, corticosteroids, anti-anxiety medications and pain relievers.
Though not very common in India, it is not completely exotic to India. The disease is reversible. Patients are cured within 15 days to 3 months of starting the treatment. However, Justin Bieber didn’t mention whether he had other symptoms of the virus except facial paralysis. We pray for his faster recovery.