Ramsay Hunt syndrome

herpes zoster oticus (shingles), geniculate ganglionitis, Hunt syndrome, nervus intermedius neuralgia

What is Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a rare neurological disorder which causes facial paralysis and a rash that affects the ear and mouth.

What causes Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Ramsey Hunt syndrome is caused by a group of viruses that causes chickenpox and shingles. They are known as herpes viruses but are different from the virus responsible for cold sores and genital herpes. The virus can be inactive in the body for a long time, before reactivating in adults.

What are the symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome can vary from person to person and they don’t happen at the same time. The symptoms can also be temporary. These include:

  • Facial paralysis (palsy)
  • Ear and mouth rashes
  • Slurred speech
  • Tinnitus
  • Hearing loss
  • Ear and neck pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vertigo

Are you affected by Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

If you’re affected by Ramsay Hunt syndrome, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with Ramsay Hunt syndrome from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with Ramsay Hunt syndrome

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with Ramsay Hunt syndrome? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including Ramsay Hunt syndrome, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The The Brain Charity library has various resources related to Ramsay Hunt syndrome and on a wide range of disability-related issues.

Visit our library to read:

Shingles, by National Institute of Neurilogical Disorders and Stroke (An overview of shingles, chickenpox, varicella-zoster virus and research), Pamphlet, 2015

Shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia, by Pain Relief Foundation, booklet, 2011

Post-Herpetic Neuralgia, by Trigeminal Neuralgia Association, leaflet

or search the catalogue online here.

Support groups

Shingles Support Society

Website: shinglessupport.org.uk

Email: info@herpes.org.uk

Tel: 020 7607 9661 Mon – Fri, 12 noon to 8 pm.

Social media: www.facebook.com/shinglessupport

Other charities

Facial Palsy UK 

Website: www.facialpalsy.org.uk

Email: info@facialpalsy.org.uk

Tel: 0300 030 9333

Pain UK

Website: painuk.org

Email: info@painuk.org

Shingles Support Society

Website: shinglessupport.org.uk

020 7607 9661 (Mon to Fri 12 noon to 8pm)

Trigeminal Neuralgia Association UK 

Website: www.tna.org.uk

Email: help@tna.org.uk

Tel: 0800 999 1899