Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Do you feel ear pain, hearing loss, a sensation of spinning or moving, ringing in the ears, and considering this the ear problem? But symptoms similar to ear problems might be the reason for Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
In addition, shingles outbreaks can affect the facial nerve near your ear. You will suffer from pain rash. This rash is due to the affected ear and can result in hearing loss and facial paralysis. Generally, this disorder injuries one side of the face.
Victims with this disorder have to endure painful rashes on the ear, mouth, and facial weakness or paralysis. If you have to face some of these symptoms, there are chances that you have Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. Don't worry, if you read this blog carefully then you will be able to identify the disease, and will help you with what to do.
This disease can capture you when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve. It is a serious neurological disorder that especially impacts adults over 60 years of age.
The reason for facial nerve palsy is the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus.
According to a study, 80% of patients with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome have to cope with vesicular rashes of the ear and mouth, and 50% of patients have to live with temporary ear loss.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is also known as:
● Facial nerve palsy due to herpes zoster infection
● Geniculate neuralgia
● Herpes zoster oticus
● Nervus intermedius neuralgia
● Ramsay Hunt Syndrome type 2 (formerly)
What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome occurs due to the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that results in chickenpox and shingles.
After the Chickenpox resolves, varicella-zoster instead damages still lives at the end of the nerves. It quietly waits for the opportunity to wake up, reactivation of the chickenpox virus can cause herpes zoster oticus, also known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
The situation is like a Herpes zoster that also affects the specific nerve and facial nerve.
Cause and Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
If you have Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, you might experience the following:
It is an unbearable fluid-filled blister with red inflammations around one ear and a sensation of spinning or moving (vertigo).
The main reason for Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is Varicella-zoster.
It is a similar virus that also affects chickenpox and shingles (herpes zoster).
Even after chickenpox is cleared up, the person who has chickenpox carries the dormant virus in their nerves. After a few years, it often becomes reactive in some people and damages the brain nerve. Therefore It leads the patients to irritation and swelling of the nerves.
It results in facial paralysis, swelling of the area where it will develop, and itching.
Facial weakness and paralysis are common with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
We know that facial nerves control the movement of the face. Unlikely when the virus attacks the facial nerve then it leads the patient towards the one side paralysis of the face, like difficulties in frowning, smiling, and raising your eyebrows.
The process of facial paralysis or weakness is described here:
Firstly the virus affects the inner ear and then spreads to affect facial nerves resulting in facial nerve paralysis.
You may also experience:
● Ear pain
● Facial droop
● Hearing loss
● Drooling saliva
● Ringing in ears
● Dry eyes and mouth
● Problem closing one eye
● Facial itching and blisters near the ear
● Inability to smile and forehead wrinkles
● Difficulty chewing and making facial expressions
Many people may have endless facial muscle imperfections. And some may have an unpleasant experience of hyperacusis, a disorder in which sounds seem louder (often dramatically). Then hyperacusis recovers due to the irregularity of the stapedius muscle in the eardrum.
Some people may have to struggle with the incapability to shut the eye, which usually happens and results in irritation. In rare cases, the front part of the eye can become damaged and blur images.
This disease is often found in children and mainly affects adults.
Types of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Type 1: The second name used for Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is Ramsay Hunt cerebellar syndrome. It is not occurring very often but leads to a wide range of diseases like:
● Myoclonic epilepsy
● Progressive ataxia
● Dementing process
the regulatory mechanism between cerebellar and brainstem nuclei results in Ramsay Hunt Syndrome of type 1
Type 1: The first type of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome also called Ramsay Hunt cerebellar syndrome, is a rare form of cerebellar degeneration.
The patients with this disorder may have to suffer from a wide range of diseases like:
The Myoclonic epilepsy, progressive ataxia, tremor, and a dementing process
reason for type 1 syndrome impairment of a regulatory mechanism between cerebellar and brainstem nuclei.
Type 2: Ramsay Hunt Syndrome type 2 is the reactivation of herpes zoster in the geniculate ganglion.
Type 2: the reactivation process of herpes zoster in the geniculate ganglion may cause Ramsay Hunt Syndrome of type 2.
The symptoms found in patients are acute facial nerve paralysis and pain in the ear, jaw, and/or neck.
the affected person feels taste loss in the palate-thirds of the tongue.
They often struggle with dry mouth and eyes, and an erythematous vesicular rash in the ear canal.
The individual over the 60 years who had chickenpox can be captured into this syndrome as compared to others.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is not easily diffused or spread from one person to another, but a person with this disease can pass chickenpox on to people who are never unvaccinated against chickenpox and who had never had chickenpox.
The person who has this acute malady should heal himself before meeting anyone else, and they should stay away from people who have never had chickenpox, infants, and pregnant mothers.
Exam and test
The doctor often examines and checks the Ramsay Hunt Syndrome by looking for the signs of facial weakness, samples of the fluid, blood tests, and a blister-like rash.
The doctor often examines and checks the Ramsay Hunt Syndrome case by taking a sample of fluid from one of the rash blisters in your ear for testing.
The disease can be recognized by medical history, physical exam, specific signs, and symptoms.
Here are more ways of examining Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
● MRI of the head
● Electromyography (EMG)
● Lumbar puncture (in rare cases)
● Blood tests for varicella-zoster virus
● Skin tests for varicella-zoster virus
● Nerve conduction (to determine the amount of damage to the facial nerve)
If you take the treatment within a few days, you will recover quickly.
Because the nerves are not mostly damaged.
You can get better within a few weeks if there is not much damage to nerves.
And if you're late in getting a checkup it may take you several months to recover and you will not fully recover, even after complete treatment.
It will be good for you, and your chances of recovery will be high If you start getting treatment only after 3 days of expressing symptoms. And if you do not give any importance and delay in seeking treatment then, there are low chances of recovery.
The ability to recover is high in children as compared to adults.
First of all, you should see your family doctor, Because by doing this your doctor may refer you to a specialized neurologist.
Here are some home remedies that will help you a lot to reduce the discomfort of the Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
1. Keep cleaning: Keep the areas clean if you have rashes on your face and ear
2. Apply wet compresses: To reduce the pain Ap
ply wet compresses to the target to point
3. Use moisturizer: Use eye moisturizer whenever your eyes become dry. The use of moisturizer drops can be helpful. It is a more convenient way to cope with the dryness of the eye without any medical assistance.
This method will help you to get out of this trouble.
4. Wear an eye patch or apply the ointment: If you can't close your eyes due to facial imperfection then you should use an eye patch or apply ointment on your eye and tape your eyelid shut.
Delayed taking timely treatment can acutely paralyze the brain nerves and leads to long-term complications.
The advantage of taking timely treatment is you can avoid long-term complications.
If you have symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome then you need to see your doctor.
Your doctor may prescribe you an MRI and CT scan of your head and anti-anxiety such as diazepam (Valium) or may instruct antiviral medications like acyclovir or famciclovir, as well as corticosteroids like prednisone.