Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

The prognosis for Ramsay Hunt syndrome is not as good as that for Bell's palsy. There is good clinical evidence to suggest that treatment with steroids, pain medications, and antiviral agents (like acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir) improve recovery and lessen the extreme facial discomfort. However, infrequent complications can develop, such as synkinesis (inappropriate nerve responses such as blinking or tear formation while trying to talk), eye damage, or rarely, viral spread to other nerves causing many other problems (for example, pain, confusion, weakness). Postherpetic neuralgia (pain due to nerve fiber damage by the virus) may also develop and persist for months to years.

Where can I find more information about Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001647.htm

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/news/20061025/shingles-vaccine-to-be-routine-at-60

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7264/778

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease
REFERENCE:
"Clinical manifestations of varicella-zoster virus infection: Herpes zoster" uptodate.com

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/4/2015
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