On Monday, pop star Justin Bieber updated his fans regarding a rare condition that has left him with facial paralysis.
Bieber revealed on Friday that he had been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a rare disorder that is linked to varicella-zoster, the same virus that causes shingles and chickenpox.
The 28-year-old singer revealed in a video on Friday that half of his face had become paralyzed due to the virus and that he had to cancel tour dates due to the condition.
At the time, Bieber described the condition, saying: “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…”
“This eye is not blinking, I can’t smile on this side of my face, this nostril will not move, so there’s full paralysis in this side of my face,” he stated.
Justin Bieber discusses facial paralysis caused by Ramsay Hunt
After posting the video to his social media, the singer received an outpouring of support from concerned fans. On Monday, Bieber updated the world regarding his condition.
“Wanted to share a little bit of how I’ve been feelin [sic]…Each day has gotten better and through all of the discomfort I have found comfort in the one who designed me and knows me,” he expressed on social media.
Bieber has long been public about his Christian faith, which has helped him throughout his medical struggle.
“He know the darkest parts of me that I want no one to know about and he constantly welcomes me into his loving arms…This perspective has [given] me peace during this horrific storm that I’m facing…I know this storm will pass but in the meantime Jesus is with me,” Bieber stated.
Ramsay Hunt is a rare condition that is caused by a shingles outbreak in facial nerves by the ears. In addition to facial paralysis, it can also cause hearing loss.
Patients describe extreme pain in the ear and face, as well as vertigo and red rashes around the affected area.
The condition is often treated with antiviral drugs and pain relievers, and many people who have Ramsay Hunt recover in weeks if their nerves are not damaged severely.
Anyone who has has chickenpox at one point in their life is at risk of developing shingles, as well as Ramsay Hunt syndrome although it is very rare.
Those who have had chickenpox as a child still have traces of the virus in their bodies. It lays dormant in tissue near the brain and can reactivate as shingles.
Shingles mainly impacts older people and those with weakened immune systems but can appear in anyone who has had chickenpox. Doctors estimate that one third of all people will have or have had shingles in their lifetime.