Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

Indonesia is known as a tropical country with two seasons, namely the rainy season and summer. In a year it is estimated that there will be two seasons in the span of 5-6 months. The rainy season starts in September-March while the summer season is April-August. The process of changing seasons is also known as the transition season. In the process of changing seasons, the temperature and humidity of the air tend to change with extremes so for some people some symptoms of allergies are caused by viruses or fungi that develop when the air is humid. Allergies that often appear in most people are on the outer skin. One of the diseases caused by viruses that appear on the skin is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. Ramsay Hunt syndrome, also known as herpes zoster oticus.

This condition is rare, but if not treated immediately, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial muscle deformity and permanent deafness. Ramsay Hunt syndrome and Bell’s palsy have similar symptoms, namely paralysis on one side of the face. However, the two conditions are different. The difference between the two is that Ramsay Hunt syndrome causes symptoms in the form of a painful rash around the ear, whereas Bell’s palsy does not.

Causes of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that also causes chickenpox. After the person with chickenpox recovers, the virus does not die but is just inactive in the body. The reactivated varicella-zoster virus will cause herpes zoster or shingles. If the virus infects the facial nerve near the ear, the patient will develop Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome may experience two main symptoms, namely:

  • Reddish rash with painful blisters inside the ear, earlobe, to the roof of the mouth
  • Facial paralysis on the affected side, which makes it difficult for the patient to close one eye, eat and make facial movements

The appearance of the rash and facial paralysis generally occurs on only one side and occurs simultaneously.

However, in some cases, facial paralysis is not accompanied by a rash. In addition to these two main symptoms, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can also cause other symptoms, such as:

  • Severe earache
  • Hearing disorders
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis)
  • Vertigo
  • Impaired sense of taste (dysgeusia)

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Treatment

Ramsay Hunt syndrome should be treated as soon as the doctor confirms the diagnosis. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. The following are treatment methods that can be used to treat Ramsay Hunt syndrome: Generally, the doctor will give some medicines as follows:

  • Antiviral drugs, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir, to treat the varicella-zoster virus
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to reduce inflammation of the skin
  • Benzodiazepines, to treat vertigo
  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen, for pain relief
  • Carbamazepine, for severe pain
CategoryGlobal Health
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