Facial Paralysis & Bell's
Palsy Foundation

Working together to improve the quality of
life for persons living with facial paralysis.

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is a condition in which shingles compromises the facial nerve, which can result in symptoms including hearing loss on the affected side of the face, and even temporary facial paralysis, as well as a blister like rash near the ear. Ramsay Hunt is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox in children, and it is believed that once an individual has healed from the chicken pox, the virus can lay dormant for years and surface again as Ramsay Hunt Syndrome later in life. To combat the virus itself, a patient is usually given very high doses of antiviral medications.

If you believe that you may be suffering from this condition, seeking proper medical attention in a timely manner is of the utmost importance, as the facial paralysis induced by Ramsay Hunt Syndrome can be much more severe than in instances of other conditions.

Facial Paralysis Caused By Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

The type of facial paralysis that is associated with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome can occur very quickly and without warning, though a tell-tale sign that a person may be suffering from the condition is a painful rash near the ear. When Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is treated early, patients have the highest chance of a full recovery.

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome FAQ

Q: Is facial paralysis caused by Ramsay Hunt Syndrome painful?
A: Ramsay Hunt Syndrome itself can bring a very painful blister like rash to the individual suffering from the disorder, which can be painful. Facial paralysis as a result of the condition, however, is most likely not.

Q: How long does facial paralysis from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome usually last?
A: This varies from person to person, and greatly depends on how soon you’re able to seek treatment for your condition. The most important part of curing Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is to make sure that you visit a physician as soon as you realize you may be suffering from the disorder, as fighting the virus is key to reduce the length of your disorder and future complications.

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