Not many people know that there is more than one type of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome out there. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Types I, II, and III were all first described by American neurologist James Ramsay Hunt. The most well known Ramsay Hunt disease is the second type, albeit the others are also commonly referred to by the same name without clarification.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Type I. RHS type 1 is a degenerative mental disorder in which the patient displays seizures, cognitive impairment, and ataxia. It is attributed to the impairment of of a nuclei regulator (between the cerebellar and brainstem).
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Type II. The most common discovery of James Ramsay Hunt's career, RHS Type II is a disease also known herpes zoster oticus. Type II of the syndromes named after Ramsay Hunt is caused by the infection of a previously active herpes zoster virus with one of the nerves in the patient's head.
RHS II has noticeable symptoms. Taste loss in the front of the tongue, a rash on the ear/tongue/hard palate, and pain in the ear are all symptoms of RHS II. Effects such as tinnitus, vertigo, and hearing loss have all been observed as well.
Type 2 is related to other diseases. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Type II is essentially a shingles infection of the brain's nerves. The same virus that causes Chicken Pox and Shingles is also the virus that causes the infection in RHS type 2 patients.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Type III. The least known type of RHS is probably the third. RHS type 3 is a disease characterized by damage to the palmar branch of the ulnar nerve. This condition is not commonly referred to as RHS type III.
Treatment of the various types of disease first described by Ramsay Hunt usually involve steroids and antiviral medication. Those disorders attributed to Ramsay Hunt can be quite overwhelming, and often requiring the usage of strong pain killers in extreme cases. The above article was meant to be informative in nature and not meant to replace the advice of a trained, educated medical health professional. Please consult a doctor immediately if you believe that you or someone you know has symptoms similar to those of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.