In 1907, Dr James Ramsay Hunt, an American neurologist, described in the syndrome of herpes zoster associated with facial palsy as Ramsay (often misspelled as Ramsey) Hunt syndrome II. A great part of the illness is Bell’s palsy which itself has many causal factors and is the most common form of facial paralysis worldwide.
It has been seen that Bells palsy and Ramsay Hunt syndrome can occur at the same time but one does not necessary lead to an occurrance of the other nor are they caused by the same virus. For example, the Herpes simplex virus type 1 is found to be present in Bells palsy patients but not in Ramsay Hunt syndrome subjects. The latter are known to be affected by the varicella-zoster virus which causes shingles and is the very same virus that triggers chickenpox.
Early misdiagnosis is common but treatment methods are similar in both cases although the useful effect of steriods is currently being questioned in many medical journals. The clearest indication of a Ramsay Hunt syndrome case is the presence of lesions or blisters on the pinner of the ear leading to the eventual facial paralysis. Other symptoms are apparent but these will be discussed further in this section.
Welcome to RamsayHunt.org
This website was created to support those suffering from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (often misspelled Ramsey Hunt) and associated illnesses such as Bells palsy and Neuralgia.
The painful and dramatic onset of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is a frightening experience which can leave the sufferer scared and confused. Initial thoughts vary from “have I had a stroke?” to “is it a brain tumour?” and “will I get better?”
Facial paralysis, herpetic blisters, neuralgia, loss of taste and vertigo are some of the symptoms of RHS and in all cases it is vital that they are treated immediately to improve the chances of a complete recovery.
In this site you will find information, meet other sufferers and read first hand experiences from our members.
If you suspect you have RHS you must seek urgent medical attention and never rely on a website as a substitute for professional advice.
History of the Site
In February 2003, one of the site founders contracted RHS. In trying to find out more about the condition on the Internet it was found that information was not only scarce, but advice was often misguided and misdiagnosis was common.
A web site was created and updated with daily RHS diary entries so that people could watch a so-called ‘rare disease’ unfold and see how it affected the patient. The aim was to give other sufferers a ‘preview’ of what might lay ahead.
Within weeks another RHS sufferer, who found the diary helpful, wanted to submit their own journal and shortly after that another offer came.
Emails landed from all over the world so a forum was created to allow people to discuss their conditions and the RamsayHunt.Org community was born.
Other parts of the site were developed to include information about the condition and within months it topped the main search engines.
As more members joined, it became apparent that other illnesses were to blame for their facial paralysis. Additional sub forums were created to accommodate their discussions so the RHS forum evolved into a community for all facial paralysis sufferers.
To make the non-RHS sufferers feel less like ‘outsiders’ a new domain name was required. In June 2004 www.FacialParalysis.Net was purchased and configured so that members could also access the RHS support forums via the new address. Although people were essentially using the same site as before, the FPN now had it’s own colour scheme and design so it looked and operated like a separate website.
Moderators were soon required such was the demand for support and now we are proud to say that we can provide 24 hour multi-lingual support as our Mods are based in the UK, USA, Mexico and Australia.
From 2007 the forum became the target of spammers and this caused a huge rise in demand for web server resources. Despite great efforts and constant battles with an uncooperative hosting company nothing could be done to stabilise the forums and long outages were seen.
In February 2009 the sites were migrated to a new server and upgraded to the latest software version. During the updates the FPN was split off to become a dedicated site for facial paralysis sufferers.
The new RHS site means that members can create live Blogs to keep their friends, family and of course, our visitors up to date with their progress. The support forums have been integrated into the site so that logging in to the site will automatically provide access to the forums. Other advanced features are also available to members.
For the moment, there is limited content but the developers and researchers are working on content which will be made available in the near future.
Long Term Goals
- We would like every person diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy to be made aware of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and its symptoms.
- We would like every Doctor treating Ramsay Hunt Sydrome to have access to up-to-date information regarding Treatments.
- We would like every RHS patient to have access to up-to-date information, correct and affordable treatments and support groups.
Please note that the content of this site is for educational purposes only. We do not, under any circumstances, claim to be of a medical background and therefore do not recommend that the contents of this site be in any way a substitute for professional qualified medical examinations, diagnosis, opinions, treatment etc. Before undertaking any advice from this site it is important that you clarify the nature of that advice with your doctor.
You should never use a website as the only source of medical opinion. Seek immediate professional medical attention if you have any of the symptoms displayed on this site. Your GP may reference many similar sources but they are trained and experienced and will be able to interpret your particular condition.
The content of this site is provided without warranties, either express or implied, including but not limited to warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information contained or in any referenced links. We shall not be responsible for any damages, costs, expenses, legal claims or any other such consequences arising from the actioning of information held within this site.
“Our mission is to create a centre point for all sufferers of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome to pool their knowledge and experiences to create a vital resource for patients to get help and researchers to advance their studies with the shared goal of finding successful treatments.”