Horner syndrome is a disorder that affects the eye and surrounding tissues on one side of the face and results from paralysis of certain nerves. Horner syndrome can appear at any time of life; in about 5 percent of affected individuals, the disorder is present from birth congenital. Horner syndrome is characterized by drooping of the upper eyelid ptosis on the affected side, a constricted pupil in the affected eye miosis resulting in unequal pupil size anisocoria , and absent sweating anhidrosis on the affected side of the face. Sinking of the eye into its cavity enophthalmos and a bloodshot eye often occur in this disorder. In people with Horner syndrome that occurs before the age of 2, the colored part iris of the eyes may differ in color iris heterochromia , with the iris of the affected eye being lighter in color than that of the unaffected eye. Individuals who develop Horner syndrome after age 2 do not generally have iris heterochromia.

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Horner syndrome is a combination of signs and symptoms caused by the disruption of a nerve pathway from the brain to the face and eye on one side of the body. Typically, Horner syndrome results in a decreased pupil size, a drooping eyelid and decreased sweating on the affected side of your face. Horner syndrome is the result of another medical problem, such as a stroke, tumor or spinal cord injury. In some cases, no underlying cause can be found. There's no specific treatment for Horner syndrome, but treatment for the underlying cause may restore normal nerve function.

A number of factors, some more serious than others, can cause Horner syndrome. It is important to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis. Get emergency care if signs or symptoms associated with Horner syndrome appear suddenly, appear after a traumatic injury, or are accompanied by other signs or symptoms, such as:.

Horner syndrome is caused by damage to a certain pathway in the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system regulates heart rate, pupil size, perspiration, blood pressure and other functions that enable you to respond quickly to changes in your environment. The nerve pathway affected in Horner syndrome is divided into three groups of nerve cells neurons. This neuron pathway leads from the hypothalamus at the base of the brain, passes through the brainstem and extends into the upper portion of the spinal cord.

Problems in this region that can disrupt nerve function related to Horner syndrome include:. This neuron path extends from the spinal column, across the upper part of the chest and into the side of the neck. Causes related to nerve damage in this region may include:. This neuron path extends along the side of the neck and leads to the facial skin and muscles of the iris and eyelids. Nerve damage in this region may be associated with the following:. In some cases the cause of Horner syndrome cannot be identified.

This is known as idiopathic Horner syndrome. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Request an appointment. Overview Horner syndrome signs Open pop-up dialog box Close. Horner syndrome signs Decreased eye pupil size is a key sign of Horner syndrome.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Ropper AH, et al. Disorders of ocular movement and pupillary function. New York, N. Accessed March 2, Kedar S, et al. Horner's syndrome. National Organization for Rare Diseases. National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Related Horner syndrome symptoms. Mayo Clinic Marketplace Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.


Horner's Syndrome

Open Access. Case Report. Abstract Horner Syndrome is a rare condition characterized with ptosis, miosis, unilateral anhidrosis and rarely enophtalmos resulting from the sympathetic innervation loss by interruption of oculosymathetic pathway. Congenital muscular torticollis is a musculoskeletal system malformation resulting from fibrosis, therefore shortening of sternocleidomastoid muscle.


Horner syndrome

Professional Reference articles are designed for health professionals to use. You may find one of our health articles more useful. This is a rare condition that results from disruption of the sympathetic nerves supplying the eye. There is the triad of:. Investigations will be guided by suspected aetiology. For example: [ 8 ].



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