Bookmark Bookmark

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is a neurological disease in which the Varicella Zoster virus leads to inflammation of the nerves involved in facial movements. When the nerves get inflamed, they cannot function, and there can be temporary facial palsy or paralysis. The disorder was first documented by neurologist James Ramsay Hunt in 1907. 

 

Key Points regarding the Ramsay Hunt Syndrome: 

  • The disease is a rare neurological disorder that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus of the human herpesvirus family. It is characterised by facial paralysis. It may also present as ear abnormalities, including ringing in the ears, earache, or hearing loss.
  • The disease is a late complication of the varicella-zoster virus infection.
  • Early-stage infection of the virus causes chickenpox in humans, but the virus in many cases remains dormant in the body long after the condition has passed. Physiological stress or immunocompromise can reactivate the virus. 
  • Less than 1 % of zoster cases involve the facial nerve and result in Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. 
  • Symptoms of the disorder: change in taste sensation, dry eyes, tearing, nasal obstruction, hyperacusis or noise sensitivity, and dysarthria or speaking difficulties.
  • The disorder is easy to miss in the early stages, and diagnosis can often be delayed, leading to long-term complications.
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome accounts for approximately 7 % of acute facial paralysis cases. Immunocompromised patients have a higher chance of suffering from a more acute period of being infected and less complete recovery. 
  • There is no age bracket within which the virus affects humans – cases have been reported in babies as young as three months and adults as old as 82 years.
  • The treatment is mostly focused on reducing pain, preventing later complications and decreasing the duration of the illness.

What is the difference between Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and Bell’s palsy? 

  • Bell’s palsy is a condition of facial muscle weakness or paralysis that can be set off suddenly. It is not a permanent condition, although in some rare cases, it can last for longer periods. 
  • Patients of Bell’s palsy usually show full recovery. In comparison, patients of Ramsay Hunt syndrome may have more severe paralysis at the onset of the disorder and may not recover completely. 
  • Only 70 per cent of patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome regain normal or near-normal facial function compared to over 90 per cent with Bell’s palsy.

You might be interested:

Air Marshal Vibhas Pande: 37th Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the IAF's Maintenance Command

Context: Air Marshal Vibhas Pande assumed charge as the 37th Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the IAF's Maintenance Command. Key Points:  Air Marshal Vibhas Pande assumed charge as the 37th Ai ...

2 months ago

Buckling-Restrained Brace

Context: IIT Delhi has recently developed low-cost braces. Key Points:  Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has recently developed low-cost braces. It will enhance earthquake resistance in cons ...

2 months ago

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for 2020-21

Context: Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for 2020-21 was released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation here on 14th June.  Key Points:  Considering the importance ...

2 months ago

Daily News Digest:14 June 2022

FDA Approves First Systemic Treatment for Alopecia AreataThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Olumiant (baricitinib) oral tablets to treat adult patients with severe alopecia areata on 13th ...

2 months ago

One Liners of the Day, 15 June 2022

Economy:  The annual rate of inflation is 15.88% (Provisional) for the month of May 2022 (over May 2021) as compared to 13.11% in May 2021. National Affairs:  Bengaluru will house the Ayu ...

2 months ago

Ayushman Bharat Digital Tech Centre

Bengaluru will house the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission Tech Centre. The National Health Authority (NHA) will set up the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) tech centre at Arogya Soudha in Bengalu ...

2 months ago

Provide your feedback on this article: