Background: Fear of falling (FOF) is a common and major health concern in older adults. The consequences of FOF include reduced physical performance, social activity, and health-related quality of life. Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS) is a herpes zoster-related facial nerve dysfunction accompanied by an erythematous vesicular rash on the ear or mouth that may complicate ipsilateral facial paralysis and otalgia, vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and meningoencephalitis. However, repeated falls and subsequent FOF due to RHS have not been reported in older adults. Case presentation: A 65-year-old woman diagnosed with RHS experienced repeated falls during hospital admission and after discharge. Despite recovery of balance and no subsequent falls, the patient presented with persistent FOF at the geriatric outpatient follow-up visit 1 year after the RHS episode. The fear sensation impaired the patient’s instrumental daily activities and was confirmed by documentation of serial comprehensive geriatric assessments, especially the Timed Up and Go test scores. Conclusions: RHS may cause repeated falls and FOF, leading to impairment in daily activities and psychosocial function in older adults. Therefore, clinicians should be mindful of falls and FOF when caring for older patients with RHS and should develop multidimensional strategies for fall prevention and FOF.
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