By now we’ve all heard the terrible news about Justin Bieber’s health condition. In case you did miss the news, he announced on his Instagram that he is suffering from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. It is causing him facial paralysis on his left side.  It is a serious sign of needing to slow down but how did he get it, how is it treated and will he get better?

We have the answers to all of that but first, if you have not seen Justin's announcement and the visible effects of the syndrome, here is his video.

I’m personally a big Bieber fan, and I’m so saddened by what he's going through. It is a lot to go through at just 28 years old. As Justin mentioned in his video, he trusts that God has a plan and maybe part of that plan is shedding light on this syndrome to help others. I decided to dig in to learn a bit more about what this syndrome actually is to help us all understand.

What Exactly Is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

It is a rare disorder caused by a virus that attacks the ear.
It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and shingles.
In rare cases shingles can manifest in the ear and lead to Ramsay Hunt syndrome, spreading the virus to the facial nerves.
The infection can cause a painful rash inside the ear, and as it spreads, it causes facial paralysis only on one side.

It can affect balance, create vertigo, or even hearing loss.
The inflammation can lead to not being able to close the eyes, which is what Justin is suffering from on his left side.
What activates it? STRESS.

 

How Do We Get It?

If you have had chickenpox, that virus can lay dormant in your nervous system and “wake up” later on causing the re-infection in the nerves. Stress is the biggest factor in waking up the virus.

Can It Go Away?

YES, it is most likely to go away. Most people recover within about four months.

How Do We Treat It?

Docs administer steroids to treat it along with antiviral medication.  The worst thing you can do is to “just push through” if you have symptoms. This syndrome is literally your body screaming at you to slow down. Treatment should start within 3 days (or sooner) once symptoms occur in order to have the best chance of recovery.  In some severe instances, the paralysis can be permanent but again, that is rare.

How Do We Prevent It?

Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent shingles and their complications. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of the chickenpox vaccine for all children. Adults over 50 need two doses of the shingles vaccine.

Wishing Justin a full and fast recovery...he said he is already feeling some improvements and he is doing facial exercises which may also help. Justin you got this!

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