Last week, Justin Bieber announced that he would be postponing several dates on his North American tour due to an undisclosed illness. “I’ve done everything to get better, but my sickness is getting worse,” he wrote on his Instagram Story. “My heart breaks that I will have to postpone these next few shoes (doctors orders). To all my people I love you so much and I’m gonna rest and get better!”
Today, the “Peaches” singer revealed more about the diagnosis that derailed part of his tour, posting a video in which he explained that he’d been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The end result is that part of his face has been paralyzed. “As you can see, this eye is not blinking,” he demonstrated. “I can’t smile on this side of my face. This nostril will not move. So there’s full paralysis on the side of my face.”
Bieber was optimistic that he could make a full recovery and attributed the setback to a need for rest. “Obviously, my body’s telling me I gotta slow down,” he noted. “It will go back to normal. Just time and we don’t know how much time that’s gonna be, but it’s gonna be okay. And I have hope, and I trust God, and I trust that this is all for a reason. I’m not sure what that is right now. But in the meantime, I’m gonna rest.”
The Mayo Clinic page on Ramsay Hunt syndrome describes it as the result of a shingles outbreak that “affects the facial nerve near one of your ears.” Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, which remains in the system even after the initial infection clears up, and can reactivate years later. It’s more common in older adults (people in their 60s), while it can also spread chickenpox to anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated. So yeah, stay up on your shots. Here’s hoping Justin gets well soon.