What are the signs and symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Sombat Muengtaweepongsa, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

Classic Ramsay Hunt syndrome can be associated with the following:

  • Vesicular rash of the ear or mouth (as many as 80% of cases)

  • The rash might precede the onset of facial paresis/palsy (involvement of the seventh cranial nerve [CN VII])

  • Ipsilateral lower motor neuron facial paresis/palsy (CN VII)

  • Vertigo and ipsilateral hearing loss (CN VII)

  • Tinnitus

  • Otalgia

  • Headaches

  • Dysarthria

  • Gait ataxia

  • Fever

  • Cervical adenopathy

Facial weakness usually reaches maximum severity by 1 week after the onset of symptoms.

Other cranial neuropathies might be present and may involve cranial nerves (CNs) VIII, IX, X, V, and VI. [7, 8]

Ipsilateral hearing loss has been reported in as many as 50% of cases. Vertigo is usually present in those with hearing loss. [9]

Blisters of the skin of the ear canal, auricle, or both may become secondarily infected, causing cellulitis.


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