Ramsay Hunt syndrome (herpes zoster oticus) occurs when a shingles infection affects the facial nerve near one of your ears. In addition to the painful 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. After chickenpox heals, the virus lies dormant in your nerves. Years later, it may reactivate. If the virus reactivates and affects your facial nerve, the result is Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
Prompt treatment of Ramsay Hunt syndrome can reduce your risk of complications, which can include permanent facial muscle weakness and deafness.
Jan. 02, 2014
- Kansu L, et al. Herpes zoster oticus (Ramsay Hunt syndrome) in children: Case report and literature review. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 2012;76:772.
- Albrecht MA. Clinical manifestations of varicella-zoster virus infection: Herpes zoster. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Herpes zoster oticus information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/ramsay2/ramsay2.htm. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Zainine R, et al. Ramsay Hunt syndrome. European Annals of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Diseases. 2012;129:e22.
- Shingles (herpes zoster). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/index.html. Accessed Aug. 28, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 28, 2013.
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