Patient Comments: Ramsay Hunt Syndrome - Symptoms

What were the symptoms associated with Ramsay Hunt syndrome in you or someone you know?

Comment from: Dave, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

My symptoms were nearly identical to Julie, but different progression: Day 1 - Constant bitter taste, bad right ear ache, tactile pain on and under the ear (antibiotic treatment). Day 3 - Malaise and nausea. Day 4 - Sudden right facial paralysis. Day 6 - Blister breakout in/on ear. I started acyclovir. It was not until I found this site that I went to the emergency room (ER) on a late Friday and told ER doctors what I had, and they prescribed antiviral. So far, two days later no improvement.

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Comment from: barney, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 10

Just over a year ago I went to the doctors to be told I had Bell's palsy. It all started with an ear infection in my right ear, I was in agony for over a week and took pain killers just to numb the pain. A few days later I came home from nightshift freezing cold and shivering I went to bed. I woke up in the afternoon and my face didn't feel right. I looked in the mirror, couldn't believe my eyes; my face dropped down the right side. I thought to myself not a stroke, wrong side. I went to the doctor's first thing she said was Bell's palsy and she explained and gave me steroids for 2 weeks. She also made an appointment for the hospital. When I got my appointment through that's when the doctor explained I had RHS (Ramsay Hunt syndrome). I had treatment for 6 months. I no longer have the facial distortion but my right ear still hurts on the outside and my facial muscles on the right still don't feel as if they have recovered yet. I was going to go back to the doctors but I don't know if they could prescribe anything as this seem pretty permanent.

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Comment from: Beebeenc, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I have outbreaks of Ramsay Hunt quite often, due to an immune issue. My early symptoms include: beginning approximately 3 to 5 days before outbreak I feel extremely tired and have a flu like feeling without congestion. The feeling of my body is like constantly walking in chin high water. I have sensitivity spots on my head (the smallest breeze hurts) and stinging on my head and same side of face (like when you get water up your nose). My inner ear will start feeling like I'm about to get an inner ear infection, with, vertigo and shooting pains and burning. My eye starts to feel irritated and waters. Foods and drinks taste lousy and my throat starts to feel scratchy. Sometimes I will start a small drooping of my mouth. Finally, I will have a burning feeling of the ear affected and, within hours, I will have blisters form and my outer ear will be red, swollen and burn as though a hot iron left second degree burns.

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Comment from: Bella, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 13

I have had Ramsay Hunt syndrome for one year. My initial symptoms were a black ear with blisters. I had paralysis on the right side in a couple of days. The condition was not identified immediately as I was with an HMO and my primary doctor didn't know what it was. I did not get Zovirax but I had two antibacterials and prednisone. I had two prescriptions of prednisone and then was seen by an ENT. He doubled the prednisone. I had what felt like electrical shocks that would last a minute until I got the stronger prednisone. I slept most of the first two months. The MRI showed damage to the seventh and eighth nerves. I have lost most of my hearing in my right ear and have pain in the ear almost constantly as well as in the side of my head. I can blink and my face is looking almost normal. My mouth does not close normally on the right, and I have trouble drinking and eating certain things. I take gabapentin three times a day for pain. I still need far more sleep than normal. I am still using ointment at night and drops in my eye for dry eye. One specialist is suggesting cosmetic surgery, fillers, or Botox. I will see him again this month. Also I have an appointment with my neurologist. I was told that my ear pain is phantom pain and could last years or a lifetime.

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Comment from: ladinred26, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I have had Ramsay Hunt syndrome for just over two months now. I can barely close my eye when I squeeze very hard and I have no movement on the right side of my face.

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