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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Herpes zoster oticus


Other Names for this Disease

  • Hunt syndrome (formerly)
  • Hunt's syndrome (formerly)
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome type 2 (formerly)
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Herpes zoster oticus is a common complication of shingles, an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus (which is the virus that also causes chickenpox). Shingles occurs in people who have had chickenpox and the varicella-zoster virus becomes active again. Herpes zoster oticus is caused by the spread of the virus to facial nerves and can cause intense ear pain; a rash around the ear, mouth, face, neck, and scalp; and paralysis of the face. Other symptoms may include hearing loss, vertigo (feeling that the room is spinning), tinnitus (hearing abnormal sounds), loss of taste in the tongue, and dry mouth and eyes. Some cases of herpes zoster oticus do not require treatment, but when treatment is needed, pain medications, antiviral drugs or corticosteroids may be prescribed. Vertigo is sometimes treated with medication as well. The prognosis of herpes zoster oticus is typically good but in some cases, hearing loss or facial paralysis may be permanent.[1]
Last updated: 12/3/2010

References

  1. NINDS Herpes Zoster Oticus Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. February 14, 2007; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/ramsay2/ramsay2.htm. Accessed 12/3/2010.
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Basic Information

  • MayoClinic.com provides information about Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Click on the above link to access this information.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
    Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
    Herpes Zoster Oticus
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Herpes zoster oticus. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Hunt syndrome (formerly)
  • Hunt's syndrome (formerly)
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome type 2 (formerly)
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.