Preparing for your appointment

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.

Nov. 01, 2016
References
  1. Kumar Swain S, et al. Management of Ramsay Hunt syndrome among HIV patients: Our experience in a tertiary care hospital of eastern India. Polish Annals of Medicine. 2016;23:92.
  2. Albrecht MA. Clinical manifestations of varicella-zoster virus infection: Herpes zoster. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 22, 2016.
  3. Herpes zoster oticus information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/ramsay2/ramsay2.htm. Accessed July 22, 2016.
  4. Shingles (herpes zoster). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/index.html. Accessed July 22, 2016.
  5. Herpes zoster oticus. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/inner-ear-disorders/herpes-zoster-oticus. Accessed July 22, 2016.