Justin Bieber shocked fans earlier today after revealing that he is fighting a rare illness called Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The pop star is being forced to cancel tour dates and has fans scared for his well-being. Let’s take a look at his diagnosis and how it will affect him.
What Is Ramsey Hunt Syndrome
According to the Mayo Clinic, Ramsey Hunt syndrome is connected with shingles. If a shingles outbreak occurs too close to the ears, it can affect the facial nerves in that area. This kind of outbreak is already painful and can result in a rash as well as facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear. The technical term for it is herpes zoster oticus, and it is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. This virus stays in your system even after chickenpox goes away and can reactivate in adulthood. If left untreated, it can cause permanent facial muscle weakness and deafness. It usually only affects people over 60, and while it’s not contagious, you can still spread chickenpox if the virus is active in your body during a flare-up.
It was named after Dr. James Ramsay Hunt, who first discovered it in 1907. RareDisease.com says that “5 out of every 100,000 people develop Ramsay Hunt syndrome each year in the United States.”
Bieber had to cancel his shows.
Understandably this type of thing is hard on the average person, but for a pop star like Justin Bieber, his face is his money maker. If he cannot hear or move his face, he will not be able to sing and perform properly. In a video posted to his social media, you can visibly see the effects it has already taken on Justin as one eye takes longer to blink than the other, and his face appears to have some sort of nerve ticks now.
“Obviously, as you can probably see from my face, I have this syndrome called Ramsey 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.” He went on to show how he cannot smile or move anything on the side of his face that is affected. He apologized for canceling shows and asked fans to understand that he needs this time to rest and relax. “In the meantime, this ain’t it. I gotta go get my rest on, so I can get my face back to where it’s supposed to be.” He went on to say he loves his fans and that he will get better.
Fans in the comments reacted by saying, “life doesn’t not care how famous you are or how much money you have. We all have a problem. Get well soon, JB.” Another one commented, saying, “Wow, poor Justin. This man was a CRUCIAL part of our childhood. He really is such a nice soul in person. I wish him the best 🙏🏾 #SelfCareisNOTSelfish.”
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
Over on Twitter, fans expressed their sadness as well. Under TMZ’s post, many believed his diagnosis might be related to the covid vaccine, with many posting the syringe emoji. “Do you realize that’s a side effect from a certain vaccine that’s been going around?”
Celebrities with Facial Paralysis
Justin Bieber is not alone in his Ramsay Hunt diagnosis and shares it with some other major names, including Martine Ho, Tony Horton, and Olivia Chow. They join a larger group of celebrities who have a history of facial paralysis.
Angelia Jolie was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy in 2016 and has openly discussed her battle with facial paralysis. Jolie credits acupuncture for her recovery over the years. George Clooney also deals with facial paralysis stemming from a diagnosis of bell’s at 14 years old. The actor was able to recover in 9 months and recalls being bullied as a kid because of his faces involuntary motions.
Unlike others on this list, Sylvester Stallone was born with partial facial paralysis, which has resulted in his signature slurred speech and expression. The symptoms of Bell’s Palsy and Ramsay Hunt are very similar; however, Ramsay is considered to be the worst as it also comes with a rash and more long-term paralysis.
It’s called Bell’s palsy pic.twitter.com/7TolsncxAR— king Keith (@KaConfessor) June 10, 2022
Some fans believe Bieber is actually suffering from Bell’s Palsy or symptoms from him having Lyme disease and think he should consult another doctor. “It could be Ramsay Hunt Syndrome caused by shingles or zoster virus (I have zoster reoccur often) but Justin has said he’s had Lyme disease and Bell Palsy is a known thing that goes hand in hand with Lyme. He needs a good doctor that knows things and has an open mind.”