Medical Minute: Justin Bieber and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Justin Bieber is used to making headlines. Over the past few weeks, the talk hasn't been about his music or live tours, it's been about a neurological condition. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is a neurological disorder that occurs when the varicella-zoster virus infects a nerve in the head near the inner ear. After having chickenpox as a child or shingles as an adult, the virus can lay dormant in the body. On his social media channels, Bieber announced he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
On his YouTube page, Bieber told fans "the nerve in my ear, facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis. You can see this eye is not blinking. I can't smile on this side of my face. This nostril will not move."
“A lot of people might know someone who has something called Bell's Palsy,” Geoff Eubank, MD, OhioHealth system chief, general neurology said. “That would be weakness on one side of the face, and that is one thing people see with Ramsay Hunt. Above and beyond that you can have a rash in and around the ear and that can be painful, along with being off balance.”
Many of the stops on Bieber's tour have been canceled. Bieber was slated to be in Columbus on May 16th, but that show has been listed as rescheduled. No date has been noted.
As for treatment for Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, it can take some time.
“We end up giving these patients antiviral medications, as well as giving them a course of steroids,” Dr. Eubank said. “We think the combination can be beneficial.”
"This is pretty serious as you can see. I wish this wasn't the case but obviously, my body is telling me I got to slow down, and I hope you guys understand, and I'll be using this time to rest and relax and get back to 100 percent so that I can do what I was born to do," Bieber added on his social accounts.