(662) 282-4226 Open hours: Mon 7:30am – 7:00pm, T/W/Th 7:30am – 5:30pm, Fri 7:30am – 4:00pm
Ramsey Hunt: What You Should Know About Justin Bieber’s Health

Ramsey Hunt: What You Should Know About Justin Bieber’s Health

Ramsey Hunt Justin Bieber

Earlier this year, pop star Justin Bieber canceled shows on his world tour due to a rare disease called Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS) that paralyzed the left side of his face. Most of us have never heard of this disease. What is Ramsay Hunt? What causes it? And what are the symptoms? Here’s what we know about this rare illness.

What is Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Facial weakness or paralysis, as well as an outer ear rash, characterize Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS), a disorder that is both very unusual and extremely serious. The facial nerve, which regulates movement on either side of the face, may be infected by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which also causes chickenpox and shingles. The infection also triggers a very painful rash in the ear. 

What are the symptoms?

Two primary symptoms characterize Ramsay Hunt syndrome:

  • A severe red irritation with fluid-filled blisters on and around an ear.
  • The side of the face near the affected ear also has weakness or paralysis.

Rash and facial paralysis often occur simultaneously. Sometimes one might happen before the other. Sometimes the rash doesn’t show up at all.

If you have Ramsay Hunt syndrome, you could also experience:

  • Ear ache
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Having trouble shutting one eye
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of one’s sense of taste
  • Dry mouth and eyes

How do you get it?

Herpes zoster virus, which might have caused chickenpox in childhood, reactivates to create herpes zoster (RHS). This virus causes the painful rash known as shingles in adults. Elderly adults are more likely to be affected than children. The sensory nerve that feeds the face and the nerve that regulates facial movement are potential targets for this persistent virus. 

Tests and Exams

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is diagnosed when a doctor notices facial weakness and a blister-like rash. Some examples of possible diagnostic procedures are as follows:

  • Antibody detection of varicella-zoster virus in the blood
  • The use of electrodes to measure muscle activity 
  • Treatment: a lumbar puncture (in rare cases)
  • Head MRI scanner
  • Transmission of impulses via nerve fibers 
  • Varicella-zoster virus skin testing


Treatment usually starts with steroids to reduce inflammation and may be combined with antiviral drugs. Some provides will prescribe pain medications if the discomfort remains even with steroids. While you have weakness in the face, use an eye patch to avoid corneal abrasion and other eye complications if the eye does not shut fully. Some individuals use artificial tears throughout the day and a specific lubricant before bed to keep the eyes from drying out.

If the nerve damage is minor, you should recover fully in a few weeks. You may not be completely well after a few months if the injury is serious. If doctors initiate therapy within three days after the onset of symptoms, the patient has a greater chance of making a full recovery. Within this window, the success rate for patients receiving therapy is high. The likelihood of a full recovery decreases if therapy is postponed for more than three days. Complete recoveries are more common in children than in adults.


Among the possible Ramsay Hunt syndrome complications are:

Permanent hearing loss and facial paralysis. Impaired hearing and facial paralysis are common symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome; however, they usually resolve independently. Although in some cases, it may become permanent.

Eye damage. The facial paralysis produced by Ramsay Hunt syndrome may make it difficult for you to shut your eyelid. The protective cornea of the eye may be injured in this way. This damage may cause eye discomfort and impaired vision.

Postherpetic neuralgia. This painful syndrome develops when a shingles infection damages nerve fibers. The impulses provided by these nerve fibers become jumbled and amplified, producing pain that may continue even when other signs and symptoms of RHS  have disappeared.

How much do we know about Justin Bieber’s Ramsey Hunt?

The Canadian pop artist, age 28, announced his diagnosis with Ramsay Hunt syndrome in an Instagram video. As a consequence, the right half of his face is paralyzed, he stated, forcing him to cancel his next trip. Medical professionals have been giving their opinions on Bieber’s condition. One source informed Sky News that the pop artist has a severe case of the illness, while another source told Reuters that he appeared to be getting better.

Following the singer’s announcement of his facial paralysis, his wife Hailey has provided fans with an update on his condition, telling them that “everything is okay. While making an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Hailey confirmed that her spouse is “going to be perfectly alright.”

If you think you may be suffering from shingles, an appointment with your medical provider. Early treatment reduces the length of the illness and long-term effects.

Speak Your Mind


Our Providers Are Ready to Help You

Request Your Appointment Now