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Definition Return to top
Horner syndrome is a rare condition that affects the nerves to the eye and face.
Causes Return to top
Horner syndrome can be caused by any interruption in the sympathetic nerve fibers, which start in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus and run to the face.
Sympathetic nerve fiber injuries can result from:
Rarely, Horner syndrome may be present at birth (congenital). The condition may occur with a lack of color (pigmentation) of the iris (colored part of the eye).
Eye drops and certain medications may also lead to this condition.
Symptoms Return to top
There may also be symptoms of the disorder that is causing the problem.
Exams and Tests Return to top
The health care provider will do a nervous system (neurological) exam to diagnose the problem and find out which, if any, other parts of the nervous system are affected.
Tests may include:
Treatment Return to top
Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. There is no treatment for Horner syndrome itself.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The outcome depends on whether treatment of the cause is successful.
Possible Complications Return to top
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.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of Horner syndrome.Update Date: 2/13/2008 Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Departments of Anatomy & Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.