Pop singer Justin Bieber revealed Friday that he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
In an Instagram video on Friday, the 28-year-old showed fans that the right side of his face has been paralyzed due to the varicella-zoster virus.
“For those who are frustrated by my cancellations of the next shows, I’m just physically, obviously, not capable of doing them,” he said. “This is pretty serious as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case, but obviously my body is telling me that I’ve got to slow down.”
“I hope you guys understand,” Bieber added. “I’ll just be using this time to rest and relax and get back to 100% so that I can do what I was born to do.”
Also known as herpes zoster oticus, Ramsay Hunt syndrome occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of a person’s ears, according to Mayo Clinic.
It can lead to facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear and is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.
After chickenpox, the virus lives in a person’s nerves, potentially reactivating years later.
Anyone who has had chickenpox can be diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, although it is more common in adults over the age of 60.
Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome include a painful red rash with fluid-filled blisters on, in or around one ear and facial weakness or paralysis on the same side as the affected ear.
People with the sickness may also experience ear pain, hearing loss, tinnitus, difficulty closing one eye, vertigo, dry mouth and eyes and a change in taste perception or loss of taste.
The virus is not contagious, although reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus can cause chickenpox in people who haven’t previously had chickenpox or been vaccinated for it.
The infection can be serious for those with immune system problems, and the clinic warns people with the syndrome to avoid physical contact with those people, anyone who has never had chickenpox or the vaccine, newborns and pregnant women until the rash blisters scab over.
Complications of Ramsay Hunt syndrome may include permanent hearing loss and facial weakness, eye damage and postherpetic neuralgia, when a shingles infection damages nerve fibers.
Early treatment can reduce the risk of complications, and includes antiviral drugs, corticosteroids, anti-anxiety medications and pain relievers.
A shingles vaccine for people age 50 and older is recommended and children are now routinely vaccinated against chickenpox – greatly reducing the change of infection.
By Julia Musto | Fox News