Horner syndrome is a rare condition that affects the nerves to the eye and face.
Horner syndrome can be caused by any interruption in a set of nerve fibers that start in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus and travel to the face and eyes.
Sympathetic nerve fiber injuries can result from:
In rare cases, Horner syndrome is present at birth (congenital). The condition may occur with a lack of color (pigmentation) of the iris (colored part of the eye).
Symptoms may include:
There may also be symptoms of the disorder that is causing the problem.
An eye examination may show:
Your health care provider will do a complete examination to determine the possible effect on other parts of the nervous system. Depending on the suspected cause, you may need:
You may need to be referred to a doctor who specializes in vision problems related to the nervous system (neuro-ophthalmologist).
Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. There is no treatment for Horner syndrome itself.
The outcome depends on whether treatment of the cause is successful.
There are no direct complications of Horner syndrome itself. However, there may be complications from the disease that caused Horner syndrome or from its treatment.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of Horner syndrome.
Rucker JC. Pupillary and eyelid abnormalities. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 16.
Updated by: Joseph V. Campellone, M.D., Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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