Justin Bieber’s ‘pretty severe’ facial paralysis could mean he’s left with ‘long-term’, expert says | Ents & Arts News



Justin Bieber appears to have suffered a “fairly severe loss” of facial movement and could be paralyzed “in the long term”, a neurological expert has told Sky News.

On Friday evening, the 28-year-old singer posted a video on Instagram revealing that he has been diagnosed with a rare disease called Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

This has resulted in complete paralysis on the right side of his face, he said, and will mean his upcoming tour dates will have to be rescheduled.

Professor Derick Wade, an expert in neurological rehabilitation at Oxford Brookes University, told Sky News that although most people recover fully, bieber seems to have a severe case of virus.

“I noticed there was no moment, so it’s a pretty serious loss,” he said.

“How will he recover? He already gave you the answer to that.”

In the three-minute clip, the Canadian star said: “It’s pretty serious, I wish it wasn’t, but obviously my body is telling me I need to slow down.

“We don’t know how long it will take, but it will be fine.”

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a complication of the shingles virus – which can appear in people who suffered from chicken pox in childhood.

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

The NHS says Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by a virus in the facial nerve and is a more serious cause of facial paralysis.

Possible symptoms include blisters in the ears and on the roof of the mouth, as well as facial weakness.

The syndrome can be treated with steroids, antiviral drugs, and facial rehabilitation. The NHS says less than half of patients make a full recovery.

The chances of recovery improve if antiviral treatment is given within the first 72 hours of symptoms – 70% of this group recovering fully.

But this drops to only 50% if the patient does not receive prompt treatment.

Symptoms include a painful rash or blisters inside the mouth, on the ear, scalp, and hairline.

Patients will also experience loss of taste on the affected side of the tongue and deafness in the affected ear.

Justin Bieber has shared that he has Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.  Photo: Instagram/justinbieber
The singer is unable to blink in a video he posted on Instagram

Bell’s palsy ‘fairly common’ – but Ramsey Hunt is rarer

Professor Wade explained: “Facial paralysis like this is quite common.

“It’s normally called Bell’s palsy and is thought to be caused by a viral infection affecting a facial nerve as it travels through a very narrow channel in the skull.

“What he got was shingles, the varicella virus affecting the same nerve in the same position.

“So it happens because the information in the nerve causes a swell and there’s no space to swell up, so it stops working when it’s swollen and inflamed..”

Asked about recovery times, he added: “Some people [recover] very quickly – in three weeks – and then other people can take several months. So it’s a very unpredictable exercise.

“Some people get it long term and there are residual effects.”

Bieber said he does facial exercises to try to regain movement.

Fans flooded social media with well wishes, alongside his wife Hayley who wrote: “I love you baby.”


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