You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in nervous system disorders (neurologist) or to an ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist).
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:
- What are your symptoms? When did they start?
- Have you had the sensation that the room is spinning (vertigo)?
- Has your hearing been affected?
- Have you noticed a change in your sense of taste?
- Have you had the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine? When?
- Have you ever had chickenpox? When?
- Are you being treated for any chronic health conditions? If so, what treatments are you receiving?
- Are you pregnant?
What to expect from your doctor
During the physical exam, your doctor will closely examine your face to check for evidence of one-sided paralysis or a shingles rash on, in or around your ear.
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.