Pop star Justin Bieber revealed on his Instagram Thursday that a viral infection has left half his face paralyzed, and he doesn’t know how long his recovery may take.
Responding to fans who were upset that Bieber, 28, had recently canceled some shows due to an undisclosed illness, Bieber says, “I wanted to update you guys on what’s been going on. Obviously, as you can probably see from my face, I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt syndrome, and it is from this virus that attacks this nerve in my ear, and my facial nerves, and has caused my face to have paralysis.”
He continues, “As you can see, this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face. This nostril will not move. So there’s full paralysis on this side of my face. So for those who are frustrated by my cancelations of the next shows, um, I’m just physically obviously not capable of doing them.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, Ramsay Hunt syndrome (herpes zoster oticus) is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.
The condition occurs “when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of your ears. In addition to the painful shingles rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear.”
The clinic continues, “After chickenpox clears up, the virus still lives in your nerves. Years later, it may reactivate. When it does, it can affect your facial nerves. Prompt treatment of Ramsay Hunt syndrome can reduce the risk of complications, which can include permanent facial muscle weakness and deafness.”
Although Bieber seems in good spirits, all things considered, he admits, “This is pretty serious, as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case but obviously my body is telling me I gotta slow down and I hope you guys understand. I’ll be using this time to just rest and relax and get back to 100 percent so that I can do what I was born to do. But in the meantime, this ain’t it. I gotta go, I gotta go get my rest on so that I can get my face back to where it’s supposed to be.”
Bieber says he’s been doing facial exercises “to get my face back to normal,” adding, “and it will go back to normal.”
On Tuesday, Bieber canceled a show at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena just hours before it was set to start, TooFab reported, telling disappointed concertgoers, “My heart breaks that I will have to postpone these next few shows (doctors orders),” while the arena tweeted that several shows were being called off “due to a non-Covid related illness.”
As for when fans can see him performing again, Bieber said Thursday, “It’s just time, and we don’t know how much time that’s going to be. But it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be okay, and I have hope and I trust God, and I trust that this is all gonna, it’s all for a reason.”
Bieber then added, “And, um, I’m not sure what that is right now but in the meantime I’m gonna rest and I love you guys. Peace.”
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