What is Ramsay Hunt syndrome? Internet debates on vaccine after Justin Bieber’s partial face paralysis
Justin Bieber on Friday, June 10, left his fans in a state of shock after he revealed that he was suffering from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome due to which his face is now partially paralyzed. The Grammy-winning global icon revealed in his Instagram video that he was not able to blink properly or smile. In an Instagram story posted hours later, the singer shared that he was also experiencing difficulty in eating which was extremely frustrating for him.
The loyal fans of Bieber across the world rushed to Twitter to wish the singer a speedy recovery. However, it also sparked a debate between the vaxers and anti-vaxxers about whether the vaccine caused Bieber the rare disorder. A few experts also weighed in on the situation revealing that it might take weeks, months, or up to a year for the 28-year-old singer to completely recover from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
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What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?
Sharing the unfortunate news with his fans, Bieber in the Instagram video says, “Hey everyone. Justin here. I wanted to update you guys on what's been going on. Obviously, as you can probably see from my face, I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt syndrome and it is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis." The singer continued, “As you can see, this eye is not blinking. I can't smile with this side of my face, this nostril will not move, so there is full paralysis in this side of my face.” He then addressed his fans saying, “I'm just physically, obviously not capable of doing them.”
For those wondering what is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (RHS), it is a rare neurological disorder characterized by facial palsy, or paralysis, often accompanied by a rash affecting the ear or mouth. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, an estimated five out of every 100,000 people in the US will develop RHS annually. According to the Mayo Clinic in the US: "In addition to the painful shingles rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear.
According to research published by Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Ramsay Hunt recovery is much harder than recovery from Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis without a rash). Patients may also not recover completely, researchers write. Other Ramsay Hunt symptoms include tinnitus, nausea, vertigo and involuntary eye movements.
Can Justin Bieber recover from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?
Here's what some experts have to say:
‘Very unusual to have RHS in such a young patient’
Dr John Oghalai, chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at USC Keck School of Medicine, told Rolling Stone that it was a “good sign” that Bieber was only experiencing paralysis on just a part of his face. “It means that not all of the nerve fibers have died,” said Oghalai adding that it is “very promising” that he may have a “speedy recovery.” However, he says that full recovery tends to occur in only about 80 percent of patients. He added, “It’s very unusual to have Ramsay Hunt syndrome in such a young patient. It can happen, but it’s just not typical.”
‘It may take weeks, months, or up to a year to have a full recovery’
Dr Babak Azizzadeh, director of the Facial Paralysis Institute, told Rolling Stone that Ramsay Hunt Syndrome was typically treated with steroids to reduce swelling and inflammation, along with antiviral medication. “It may take weeks, months, or up to a year to have a full recovery,” said Azizzadeh adding, “If individuals are treated with high-dose steroid pills and antiviral medicines, they tend to have a better recovery. That’s very important [to do] as soon as possible.” Azizzadeh explained that there was a 20-to-30 percent possibility that a patient such as Justin does not have a full recovery and has residual paralysis, or synkinesis.
Bieber fans 'blame the vax' and suspect 'mysterious causes' for RHS
Beliebers flocked to Twitter to share concern as some debated whether the vaccine caused the singer the trouble. “So Justin Bieber is having facial paralysis from Ramsey Hunt Syndrome which is caused by a virus that attacks the facial nerves. His wife had multiple strokes at 25 years old. Both infected and reinfected with SARS in the past year and 6 months. “Mysterious” causes indeed…”, said one as another posted, “Justin Bieber may be the case that breaks this thing wide open. There is no one with a higher global profile.” Another chimed in, “Thank God Justin Bieber was vaxxed and boosted or it would have been so much worse.”
The next one tweeted, “Wishing Justin Bieber Speedy recovery, Get well soon JB.” Meanwhile, one posted, “Dear god. I pray that Justin Bieber will have a speedy recover. I pray that everything will be okay with him. I pray that he will rest well and get some time to relax. Amen.” One shared, “Honestly Justin Bieber being that severely sick brought tears to my eyes yooo...I pray God heals him.” Whereas, another added, “Guys WAKE THE F**K UP…Hailey and Justin Bieber both have side effects from the vaccine!!!” And, one person said, “Ah great, just another reason for the Antivaxxers to come out of their shells. Justin Bieber has partial facial paralysis and the f**king retards are trying to blame the vax.” Another shared, “I can’t be the only one who thinks this Justin Bieber thing is vax related.”
So Justin Bieber is having facial paralysis from Ramsey Hunt Syndrome which is caused by a virus that attacks the facial nerves.— Dr. Mild Yet Still Mysterious (@sammy4723) June 10, 2022
His wife had multiple strokes at 25 years old.
Both infected and reinfected with SARS in the past year and 6 months. “Mysterious” causes indeed…
Justin Bieber may be the case that breaks this thing wide open.— The Dean Podcast (@thedeanpodcast) June 10, 2022
There is no one with a higher global profile.
Wishing Justin Bieber Speedy recovery, Get well soon JB❤️🩹🦅 pic.twitter.com/VMjkGzHb8v— BIG Derah🇬🇧🇳🇬💜🦅 (@big__derah) June 10, 2022
Dear god. I pray that Justin Bieber will have a speedy recover. I pray that everything will be okay with him. I pray that he will rest well and get some time to relax. Amen.— Emi | praying for justin (@buzzedstin) June 10, 2022
Honestly Justin Bieber being that severely sick brought tears to my eyes yooo...I pray God heals him 🥺🙏— Essy💓 (@QueeenEss) June 10, 2022
Ah great, just another reason for the Antivaxxers to come out of their shells. Justin Bieber has partial facial paralysis and the fucking retards are trying to blame the vax.— 🧀This CheeseHead is for Ukraine🧀 (@puffycheesehead) June 10, 2022
I can’t be the only one who thinks this Justin Bieber thing is vax related.— ClownWorldRefugee (@ClownWorldDoggo) June 10, 2022