Justin Bieber Updates Fans on Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Recovery
Justin Bieber Shows Major Improvement After Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Diagnosis
Justin Bieber is giving fans a health update nine months after he was diagnosed with facial paralysis and Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The "Yummy" singer posted an Instagram Stories video on March 15 captioned "Wait for it" in which he shows off his facial mobility. Bieber slowly makes "rainbow" movements with his eyes, scanning from one side up and over to the other, and then flashes the camera a big smile, signaling a major improvement. The singer previously had to postpone his North American tour due to the condition's impact on his health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Ramsay Hunt syndrome "occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of your ears. In addition to the painful shingles rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear." It can happen to anyone who has had chickenpox. "Once you recover from chickenpox, the virus stays in your body — sometimes reactivating in later years to cause shingles, a painful rash with fluid-filled blisters," Mayo Clinic explains.
On June 10, Bieber opened up about some of his initial symptoms in an Instagram video: "Hey everyone, Justin here, I wanted to update you guys on what's been going on. Obviously, 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," he said in the video. "As you can see, 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 on this side of my face."
A few days later, he took to his Instagram Stories to share that things were improving. "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 wrote in his story.
"I'm reminded he knows all of me. He knows 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," he goes on to say. "I know this storm will pass but in the meantime Jesus is with me."
Still, the recovery process has not been an easy one. "So for those who are frustrated by my cancellations of the next shows, I'm just physically not capable of doing them. This is pretty serious, as you can see. I wish this wasn't the case, but obviously, my body's telling me I gotta slow down, and I hope you guys understand," he said in the June video post.
Bieber said he'd be using the time off to "rest and relax," emphasizing his desire to "get back to 100 percent so that I can do what I was born to do. But in the meantime, this ain't it."
Typical treatment for Ramsay Hunt syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic, includes antiviral medications, steroids, antianxiety medications, or pain relievers. Home remedies consist of using moisturizing eye drops for dryness, applying ointment to the eye at night, and taping the eyelid shut or wearing an eye patch. If a rash is present, the Mayo Clinic recommends keeping the affected area clean using a cool, wet compress and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.).
Bieber didn't go into much detail about his specific treatment plan, other than doing facial exercises. "I'm doing all these facial exercises to get my face back to normal. And it will go back to normal. It's just time, and we don't know how much time it's going to be. But it's going to be OK."
By the looks of Bieber's grin on Instagram Stories, the exercises worked. We're rooting for his continued recovery.