Ear Shingles Symptoms

Updated July 19, 2017

Ear shingles (otic zoster) is a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. Ear shingles with involvement of the geniculate ganglion (found in the auditory nerve), although rare, assumes prominence because of paralysis of the facial muscles.


Ear shingles may begin with a rash in the tympanic membrane.

Cervical Vesicles

Vesicles (small sacs similar to cold sores) appear on the neck as the rash continues to spread outside the tympanic membrane.

Loss of Taste

In some ear shingles cases, loss of taste happens on the nerves located on top of the tongue.

Symptoms on the Ganglia of Corti

Involvement of ganglia of Corti (located in the auditory nerve) is accompanied by tinnitus, vertigo, nausea and loss of hearing.

Facial Paralysis

Facial paralysis rarely occurs to patients with ear shingles and is identical to that of Bell's palsy.

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About the Author

JD, short for J. Dephoff is a writer, practical nurse and freelance researcher for 3 years, with focus on the science and technology field. Technically speaking, a graduate of Bachelor of Arts, Major in Mass Communications with a second course in Practical Nursing—both taken at the California State University. JD had written health and science related articles for eHow and similar online publishing companies.