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    Ramsay Hunt Syndrome – Definition, Causes, Types, Picture, Symptoms And Treatment

    by Shan

    Ramsay Hunt syndrome, or RHS, has three different “types.”  Each is quite different than the rest, but they are all neurological in nature.  The main cause of RHS is another condition which can result in this type of neurological disorder.

    Type I of this condition is thought to be caused by conditions such as celiac disease and Lafora body disease.  These diseases can result in nerve damage which can lead to the onset of symptoms.

    The second type of Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the herpes zoster virus, which can become active in a nerve bundle in the head.  This bundle of nerves is what causes many muscles in the fact to be able to move properly.

    Type III of RHS effects the ulnar nerve within the wrist, and it is often caused by people with jobs requiring repetitive motions of the hand.  The diagnosis for this can be easily confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, which is also caused by ergonomic troubles at jobs where the hands are moved often.


    The most commonly noticed symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome type I are convulsions, tremors, and sudden jerks in movement.  The neurological effects of this condition can also result in coordination problems, balance issues, and seizures.  Patients who notice these symptoms may mistake them for a different condition.


    Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome type II are mainly limited to the face and mouth.  These can include paralysis of part of the facial nerves, ear pain, a diminished sense of taste, dryness of the eyes and mouth, and a rash in the auditory canal and mouth.  Due to the various nerves that this condition can effect, patients can also experience vertigo and some hearing loss.

    People with Ramsay Hunt syndrome type III typically complain of numbness and pain in the wrist and hand.  These symptoms usually start after being at a job requiring continuous movement of the hands and wrists over and over again.


    Picture 1 : Ramsay hunt Syndrome Signs

    Image source : uwgi.org

    Image Source: ramsayhunt.org

     RHS type II


    The treatment for any type of Ramsay Hunt syndrome really depends on what type of symptoms a patient is exhibiting.  For instance, if a patient is suffering from seizures, a doctor may prescribe the medication valproate.  For vertigo, a physician might prescribe diazepam.  Doctors usually prescribe prednisone for facial nerve paralysis.

    Balance and coordination problems may require physical therapy to repair fully.  This can help patients regain lost muscle from not walking as much also.  Many patients find that physical therapy is one of the most effective treatments available for this condition.

    Treatment for RHS needs to be started as soon as the condition is diagnosed.  The prognosis for patients with an early diagnosis is much stronger than for that of patients who wait too long to seek treatment.  For example, the majority of patients with early treatment for facial nerve paralysis can successfully regain movement and feeling in the portion of their face which was affected by RHS.

    Despite treatment, many patients with hearing loss rarely regain their original hearing capability.  There are hearing aides which may be able to help them enhance the hearing they have left, however.



    Article by Shan

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