Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in nervous system disorders (neurologist) or to an ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist).
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:
- What are your symptoms? When did they start?
- Have you had the sensation that the room is spinning (vertigo)?
- Has your hearing been affected?
- Have you noticed a change in your sense of taste?
- Have you had the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine? When?
- Have you ever had chickenpox? When?
- Are you being treated for any chronic health conditions? If so, what treatments are you receiving?
- Are you pregnant?
What to expect from your doctor
During the physical exam, your doctor will closely examine your face, to check for evidence of one-sided paralysis or a shingles rash on, in or around your ear.
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- Davis LE. Varicella zoster virus deafness and vertigo. In: Flint PW, et al. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..00153-1--s0090&isbn=978-0-323-05283-2&sid=1074288621&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..00153-1--s0180&uniqId=224115609-5#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..00153-1--s0180. Accessed Oct. 26, 2010.
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- Harpaz R, et al. Prevention of herpes zoster: Recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices (ACIP). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2008;57:RR-5.
- Guss J, et al. Infections of the external ear: Herpes zoster oticus. In: Flint PW, et al. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..00138-5--s0110&isbn=978-0-323-05283-2&sid=1074768459&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..00138-5--s0110&uniqId=224270956-6#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..00138-5--s0110. Accessed Oct. 27, 2010.