Justin Bieber may have to wait MONTHS for his facial paralysis to heal, doctors say
Only Bieber may have to wait up to six months for his facial paralysis to completely clear, with doctors warning that the Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which he has been diagnosed with, can also cause hearing loss.
Bieber, 28, revealed his diagnosis on Friday, saying the right side of his face was paralyzed, leaving him unable to blink, smile or move one nostril on this side. He has since suspended dates on his world tour.
In a video posted to Instagram, he said: “It will go back to normal – it’s just time and we don’t know how much time it will be.
‘But I hope it will be okay. And I trust God and I trust that this is all for a reason and… I’m not sure what that is now, but in the meantime I’m going to rest.”
dr. Josh Rosenberg, a facial plastic surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, told the DailyMail.com that within three to six months, patients have a good idea of how well they’ve recovered.
About five in every 100,000 people develop Ramsay Hunt syndrome in the US each year, according to the National Organization for Rare Diseases†
dr. Nina Lu, a facial paralysis expert at the University of Washington, explained that it could take months for the singer to recover. However, she added that the paralysis was unlikely to be permanent — with about seven in 10 patients normally making a full recovery.
However, both medics pointed out that due to the Bieber’s young age, his recovery could take a few weeks.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults — which lingers in cells for years — reactivates and inflames facial nerves.
It wasn’t clear what caused the flare-up, but stress, a weakened immune system, and other underlying medical issues have all been suggested as possible causes.
The condition threatens to jeopardize the final leg of the US leg of its Justice World Tour — postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic — as well as dates in Europe and South America.
Justin Bieber revealed Friday that the right side of his face was paralyzed by Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which is caused by the reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. Doctors warned today that the condition can last for months
dr. Nina Lu, a facial paralysis expert at Washington University, said it could take a few months for the singer to recover. dr. Josh Rosenburg, a facial plastic surgeon at the Mount Sinai hospital in New York City, warned that not all patients make a full recovery
Speaking to DailyMail.com, Rosenberg said: ‘I would give’ [Justin] a few months, but people can really surprise you – especially young people.
“He’s young, diagnosed early and treated quickly — which is a good sign.”
He added: “From three to six months — possibly up to a year — [patients] will get an idea of how much exercise they got back.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox in children
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is triggered when the virus that causes chickenpox in children is reactivated and leads to inflammation and irritation of the facial nerves.
It’s not clear what causes this, but the virus is thought to be reactivated by a weakened immune system. This can also be caused by stress.
Most patients regain all their movement within a few weeks to months.
But in some cases it can lead to a permanent reduction in movement.
Treatment includes antivirals and steroids.
Some doctors may also recommend facial exercises, although there is little evidence whether this works.
About five in every 100,000 Americans develop this syndrome each year.
‘Some patients regain full movement, but some get little, and others get [uncontrolled movement]† So that’s when someone starts to move their mouth and close their eyes as well. Muscles that shouldn’t be contracting also contract.’
Lu said, “Recovery times for this disease can vary.
“Sometimes it goes really fast — over weeks — and sometimes it can really take months.”
She warned that patients sometimes develop synkinensis as a result of the condition, when the muscles of the face — such as the eyelids — can contract uncontrollably.
It was also common to experience a “temporary” hearing loss and changes in the voice box, she added.
When asked if a patient would make a full recovery, she said, “Normal or near normal is about 70 percent. The other 30 percent has partial synkinensis.’
Bieber revealed the diagnosis to fans in a video on Friday, after suspending several tour dates on Tuesday.
In the clip, he said the right side of his face was paralyzed and no longer able to smile, blink or move his nostril.
It wasn’t clear when the singer first developed the condition, though it’s likely he was diagnosed early.
He is currently on antiviral drugs to treat the condition and doing facial exercises.
On Saturday, his 25-year-old wife Hailey expressed support for the singer by writing on her Instagram story next to a photo of Bieber: “I love you baby.”
The singer started his tour on February 18, 2022, after having postponed it for two years due to the rise of the virus.
This month he would perform at his last venues in the United States – with the final show in Inglewood, California – before flying on to Europe for the second leg of the tour.
It won’t end until March next year with a performance in Krakow, Poland.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused when the nerve that controls facial expressions becomes inflamed after the virus that causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults is reactivated.
This nerve runs through a ‘tunnel’ of bone between the brain and the face that restricts blood flow to the inflamed nerve, leading to facial paralysis.
Hailey Bieber showed love for her husband Justin after the singer revealed his Ramsay Hunt syndrome diagnosis (pictured together in April)
The 25-year-old model wrote “I love you baby” on her Instagram story as she re-shared a video Justin, 28, uploaded to his Instagram page, explaining his diagnosis
Symptoms include facial paralysis, blistering, and pain in the face and ears.
Patients may also experience hearing changes, such as sounds being louder in one ear than the other or developing tinnitus – a ringing in the ears – or even deafness.
Treatment for the infection usually involves taking antiviral medications or steroids.
Physical therapy can also be used with the muscles, although it is not usually recommended.
Botox treatments may also be offered if problems persist for up to six months, and surgery from a year if the patient does not recover.