Horner's syndrome (Bernard-Horner syndrome, Claude Bernard-Horner syndrome) is caused by a lesion in the sympathetic nervous system and characterized by the classic triad of miosis, ptosis and decreased hemifacial sweating.
Horner’s syndrome affects one side of the face. The following are the signs and symptoms experienced by individuals suffering from this syndrome:
A general medical examination would be carried out in the preliminary stages, followed by other tests to identify the nature of the symptoms and exact cause behind development of Horner’s syndrome. Typically the following tests would be done:
There is no specific treatment regime for Horner’s syndrome. The major goal of treatment is to successfully treat the underlying disease condition, which would in turn help in appropriate management of the condition.
Surgical intervention may also be required when the carotid artery is involved. The types of surgical procedures indicated in treatment of Horner’s syndrome include neurosurgical procedures, and vascular surgical methods for aneurysm or dissection of the carotid artery .
The prognosis of the condition majorly depends on the underlying causative factor. If the underlying causative factor can be successfully treated, then the prognosis of Horner’s syndrome is usually favorable.
Horner’s syndrome occurs when certain groups of nerves of the sympathetic trunk are damaged. The sympathetic nerves are responsible for regulation of the heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration and size of the pupil. Injury or damage to the nerve fibers can stem from the following factors :
Horner’s syndrome is a rare disorder affecting about 1 in 6250 newborns. The condition can also occur later in life; but the exact incidence in such cases is unknown .
Horner’s syndrome develops as a result of a lesion which occurs at any point in the pathway of the sympathetic trunk. Due to such a kind of phenomenon, all patients experience abnormalities such as ptosis, elevation of the lower eye lid, development of dilation lag and miosis and impaired flushing and sweating. The degree of severity of these abnormalities depends on the extent of damage to the nerve fibers.
Anatomically, 3 groups of nerves responsible for the sympathetic function of the eye are the first order, second order and third order neurons. The first order neurons travel from the hypothalamus to the cervical spine. The second order neurons travel from neck to the outer side of the spinal region. Lastly, the third order neurons, travel through the outer side of the spinal cord to the eye .
Prevention of Horner’s syndrome is geared towards preventing the onset of trigger factors. This would include prevention of trauma of the head, avoiding smoking and controlling various cardiovascular risk factors. All these approaches can help prevent the onset of Horner’s syndrome.
Horner’s syndrome is characterized by development of various kinds of signs and symptoms that occur as result of damage to the sympathetic trunk. Such a type of condition affects the face and eyes. This syndrome produces signs and symptoms that affect one side of the body where there is lesion of the sympathetic trunk. Horner’s syndrome causes decrease in the size of the pupil, drooping eyelid and reduced sweating particularly on the side of the face that has been affected. The condition is also known as oculosympathetic palsy or Horner-Bernard syndrome .