I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt, it comes from a virus that attacks the nerves in my ear and my face.” Singer Justin Bieber released a video on Friday explaining to his fans why he has to cancel concerts.
In the above video that he posted on the Instagram social network, Justin Bieber appears, facing the camera, unable to blink his right eye, his mouth half blocked. “I can no longer smile on this side, part of my face is paralyzed”, announced on Friday the world star with 240 million subscribers, thus forced to cancel the rest of his tour.
In question, therefore, is this syndrome of Ramsay Hunt, from which he suffers, and which paralyzes part of his face. What is it about?
What exactly is Ramsay Hunt syndrome?
This paralysis is caused by a varicella-zoster virus, responsible for the two diseases of the same name. This infection, also called herpes zoster oticus, is “an auricular shingle associated with peripheral facial nerve paralysis, often accompanied by other cranial nerve damage,” the Rare Diseases and Orphan Drugs portal points out. It is accompanied by a “vesicular eruption of the auricle”, which also indicates the ScienceDirect site.
Besides facial paralysis and rash in the ear, this syndrome can cause dizziness and slurred speech.
We see in the video published by Justin Bieber that he speaks very slowly and cannot blink with both eyes. “I can’t smile on this side, part of my face is paralyzed,” says the Canadian singer.
The 28-year-old Canadian star has had to cancel two Toronto tour dates due to a complication of shingles that left part of her face paralyzed.
Where does this virus come from?
This is a reactivation of chickenpox. “After a chickenpox infection, the virus can remain in the body and remain dormant for years,” Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and director of the Facial Paralysis Institute in Los Angeles, told The Wall Street Journal.
“In a small percentage of people, the virus can be reactivated. Most of the time it is reactivated and people get shingles. But in some people, it’s Ramsay Hunt syndrome that happens.”
“A good month of recovery”
This Ramsay Hunt syndrome, named after the American neurologist who discovered it in 1907, is rare but can cause rare sequelae in the event of late diagnosis, which does not seem to be the case with the singer of “What Do you Mean? “, “Sorry” and “Love Yourself”. “This can be treated with antivirals and anti-inflammatories as well as with facial gymnastics exercises to rehabilitate the face, explains Doctor Davido, who expects a good month of recovery. He will not be able to go on stage this summer.
This disease is relatively rare, affecting only 5 in 100,000 people each year. It was the American neurologist James Ramsay Hunt (1872-1937), an army officer during the First World War, who gave his name to this virus.
How is this treated?
The syndrome is treated with antiviral drugs and corticosteroids, specifies theNational Library of Medicine. According to the director of the facial nerve disorders program at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, quoted by The Wall Street Journal, a “high dose of steroids for 10 to 14 days” may be associated with antiviral drugs.
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