Ramsay Hunt Syndrome - Treatments

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What were the effective treatments for your Ramsay hunt syndrome?

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How is Ramsay Hunt syndrome treated or prevented?

Treatment consists of antiviral agents (for example, acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir) for about one week, steroids (prednisone), and pain medications. Best results are reported when treatment protocols are started within about three days after symptoms appear. Early treatment usually results in a better prognosis (see below). For children, the varicella vaccine can reduce the chance of getting chickenpox from which the syndrome comes (reactivation of the virus). However, once a person gets chickenpox, the person is susceptible to reactivation of the virus and thus can develop shingles and/or Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Fortunately, there is another vaccine, Zostavax, which is helpful in preventing viral reactivation. Consequently, shingles and Ramsay Hunt syndrome can be either prevented or their symptoms reduced if the vaccine is administered. Usually, this vaccine is given to individuals that have had chickenpox as children and are now age 60 or older. The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests the vaccine be routinely given to individuals aged 60 or older, as about 90% of the population has been exposed to chickenpox and about 20% of people that had chickenpox are likely to get shingles without the vaccine.

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Comment from: ML, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

This week was the 16th anniversary of my facial paralysis from Ramsay Hunt - total paralysis of the right face when I was 41. As it healed, I developed synkinesis. I have done years of therapy and treatments and people say that I look much better, but I feel the pain and tension every day. These are the treatments I have found helpful: 1) Physical therapy to retrain the facial nerves/muscles to work more fluidly. 2) Osteopathy and massage. 3) Lightly tapping the face when tense and resting every day with heat on my right face. 4) Botox! I have it on the LEFT side of my face to reduce the wrinkles and try to match the activity of the right (paralyzed) side -- do not have the doctor inject the side that is traumatized. I also have the shots in my neck, head, and occipital area at the back of my head. 5) I have a punctal plug in my right eye to help with the tearing. 6) Lots of eye lubricant for the dry eye syndrome. Hope you can benefit from this.

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Comment from: julie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 11

I was 42 years old when I was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS). It was the worst pain ever! It all started with a constant ringing in my left ear, then a terrible taste in my mouth. Then the pain started behind my left ear. When I woke up the next day my face was drooping, I couldn"t close my left eye, I couldn"t smile, I couldn"t eat or drink on the left side of my mouth. In other words my whole left side of my face was paralyzed. I went to an ENT and he put me on Valtrex (a viral infection medicine) and prednisone (a steroid). After 2 doses of the medicines, my face started to have feeling again. Now it's been 1 year and everyone says my face looks the same... but I can tell it"s still not 100%. I wonder if it has ever switched sides of the face on anyone.

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