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Horner Syndrome

What Is Horner Syndrome?

Horner syndrome, (also known as Horner’s syndrome, Horner-Bernard syndrome or oculosympathetic palsy) results from the disruption of a nerve pathway between the brain, face, and eye on one side of the body. The most common causes of Horner syndrome in infants includes injury to the neck or shoulders during delivery.

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Symptoms of Horner Syndrome

Horner syndrome may result in the following symptoms:
  • Drooping upper eyelid
  • Elevation of the lower eyelid
  • Sunken appearance to the eye
  • Decreased pupil size or noticeable difference in pupil size between both eyes
  • Delayed opening of the affected pupil in dim light
  • Little to no sweating on the affected side of the face
If Horner syndrome occurs from a birth injury, the colored part of the eyes, known as the iris, of the affected eye may be lighter in color than that of the unaffected eye. In some children, it may be difficult to detect the upper eyelid drooping and decreased sweating.

Causes of Horner Syndrome

Neck trauma at birth may affect three groups of nerve cells (neurons) to cause Horner syndrome. First, the neuron pathway that leads from the hypothalamus at the base of the brain through the brainstem and extends into the upper portion of the spinal cord may be injured. Second, Horner syndrome can be caused by an injury to the neuron pathway extending from the spinal column across the upper part of the chest and into the side of the neck. Third, the neuron pathway extending along the side of the neck and up to the facial skin and muscles of the iris and eyelids may be injured.

Call Our Birth Injury Attorneys to Discuss Your Situation

If you believe your child has Horner syndrome, our birth injury lawyers may be able to help you.
Call us at (877) 262-9767 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We represent families nationwide and have offices in Chicago IL, Baltimore MD, New York NY, and Wilmington DE.