Ramsay Hunt syndrome

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Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Question

What is Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

No name
No state given

Answer

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by infection of the facial nerve by herpes zoster (shingles) virus. It's characterized by a painful, red rash with fluid-filled blisters on the eardrum, external ear canal, external ear and the roof of the mouth (palate).

Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Facial weakness (palsy) on the side of the infection
  • Ear pain
  • Hearing loss
  • Sensation of things spinning or moving around (vertigo)

A doctor may make a diagnosis by:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Signs and symptoms

Treatment of Ramsay Hunt syndrome may include:

  • Prednisone
  • Antiviral medications, such as famciclovir (Famvir) or valacyclovir (Valtrex)

Even with treatment, some people have residual facial palsy. Also, some develop chronic pain due to postherpetic neuralgia.

Last Updated: 09/13/2006
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