Herpes Zoster Oticus is also known as "Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS)" and it is a viral infection that attacks the nerves in the face, around the ear leading to severe pain.
Causes of Ramsay Hunt syndrome:
This disease is caused by neurotropic varicella-zoster virus,which affects the geniculate ganglion (nerve ganglion) and the inner ear.
It is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
It usually affects people at old age 60+.
Clinical picture (symptoms and signs):
- Severe ear pain (otalgia).
- Fluid-filled blisters inside or around the ear.
- Symptoms of facial nerve paralysis (Inability to close one eye, inability to smile, ...etc).
- Sensorineural hearing loss in the affected ear, which can become permanent.
- Changes in taste up to loss of taste.
Treatment of Herpes Zoster Oticus
- Systemic antiviral like Acyclovir.
- Systemic Steroids "Cortisone" to prevent post herpetic neuralgia.
- Infection usually disappears within a couple of weeks.