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Exclusive! Aishwarya Sakhuja on battling Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, like Justin Bieber: I went through heavy emotional turmoil because as an actor, my face is everything

“Ramsay Hunt Syndrome also called herpes zoster oticus is a major otological ear-related complication of varicella zoster virus reactivation. It is a painful rash around the ear, on the face, or on the mouth. It occurs when the varicella zoster virus infects a nerve in the head,” says Dr Neha Kapoor, Sr Consultant & Head Unit (I)- Neurology, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences Faridabad. Dr Vipasha Brajpuriya (Senior Consultant & Unit Head) ENT, Accord Superspeciality Hospital, Faridabad, adds, “In this, the facial nerve near the inner ear gets infected leading to irritation and swelling of the nerve. The virus belongs to the herpesvirus group and the virus also causes chickenpox. Classic symptoms of this disease include severe pain in the ear, rashes around parts of ear, tongue and infected side of the mouth. In some cases, it can even cause hearing loss, spinning feeling, contorted faces and even paralysis.”

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