Herpes zoster is commonly known as shingles. It is a viral disease associated with painful rash or blisters on the affected part of the body. It is caused by varicella zoster virus, which remains dormant in nerve cells after getting attack of chickenpox. Initial infection of this virus causes chickenpox in children and young adults. Virus is not eliminated from body. Many years later it can manifest as shingles.
Varicella zoster virus remains latent in nerve cell bodies for many years without showing any symptoms. Years later when the person’s immunity is low, the virus breaks out of the nerve cell body and travels along the nerve axon affecting the skin along the nerve route.
Shingles In Ear Symptoms
- Person whose ear is affected due to shingles may experience excruciating pain in the affected ear before the appearance of other symptoms.
- Later painful red blisters will be seen around and in the ear.
- One may have hearing loss. It is seen in 50% of the patients.
- Vertigo – spinning sensation resulting in loss of balance.
- Ringing sounds in the affected ear.
- If facial nerve is affected then one can have facial paralysis resulting in inability to close one eye and crooked smile. The facial muscles will become weak. Weakness of muscles is seen around eyes and mouth.
- Taste perception is altered or there may be loss of taste.
Complications Of Shingle In The Ear
- Permanent loss of hearing.
- Postherpetic neuralgia – This occurs due to damage to nerve fibers. Pain may remain lingering for many weeks even though rashes subside.
- Tears while laughing and talking.
- Headache, confusion and neck stiffness is observed if nerves of brain are affected.
Home Remedies For Shingles In The Ear
As soon as you notice the symptoms, consult the doctor.
- Antiviral medications are given to control the infection.
- Painkillers are given to relieve the pain.
- Take rest to boost your body defenses.
- Apply ice pack on the affected area to reduce pain.
- Soothing lotion can be applied on the rash after consulting the doctor.
- Strengthen the immune system with healthy diet. You can take multivitamin tablet after consulting your physician.
- Keep the affected area clean.
- Avoid contact with newborn babies, pregnant ladies and persons with weak immunity to prevent further spreading of the virus.
- Use moisturizing eye drops if there is dryness in the eye.