The two main signs of Ramsay Hunt syndrome are:
- A painful red rash with fluid-filled blisters on, in and around one ear
- Facial weakness or paralysis on the same side as the affected ear
Usually, the rash and the facial paralysis develop at the same time. But in some cases, the rash will occur before the facial paralysis or the paralysis before the rash. Sometimes the rash never materializes.
If you have Ramsay Hunt syndrome, you might also experience:
- Ear pain
- Hearing loss
- Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
- Difficulty closing one eye
- A sensation of spinning or moving (vertigo)
- A change in taste perception or loss of taste
When to see a doctor
Call your doctor if you experience facial paralysis or a shingles rash on your face. Treatment beginning within seven days of the start of signs and symptoms may help prevent long-term complications.
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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