Horner syndrome (Bernard-Horner Syndrome): Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Alternative Name: Horner syndrome, ptosis sympathetica, Bernard's syndrome, cervical sympathetic syndrome, oculosympathetic palsy, oculosympathetic paresis, oculosympathetic syndrome, Raeder's syndrome.ICD-9: 337.9.Horner's syndrome is a clinical syndrome caused by damage to the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which also includes the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).Horner syndrome is a relatively rare disorder characterized by a constricted pupil, drooping of the upper eyelid, absence of sweating of the face, and sinking of the eyeball into the bony cavity that protects the eye. These are the four classic signs of the disorder.It is caused by the interruption of the oculosympathetic nerve pathway. This interruption originates somewhere between the hypothalamus and the eye. Horner's syndrome can affect people of all age groups, races, and genders.Most often, Horner syndrome is acquired as a result of some kind of interference with the sympathetic nerves serving the eyes. The underlying causes can vary enormously, from a snake or insect bite to a neck trauma made by a blunt instrument.Causes of the condition are numerous. Injuries to the neck can cause damage to the sympathetic nervous system, as well as certain illnesses. Sometimes medications can cause the condition. At other times, Horner's syndrome may actually be a genetic condition, present at birth.Other causes include cysts in the cervix, anesthesia to the cervical area, multiple sclerosis, and neurofibromatosis. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic condition in which small lesions or tumors appear on various points of the spine. When they affect the cervical spine, they can result in Horner's syndrome.Symptoms:The major symptom of Horner's syndrome is ptosis (drooping eyelids).
Diagnosis:The disorder is suspected based on symptoms. If you have Horner syndrome, your pupil will dilate slower than normal. Your doctor can evaluate this by placing drops of medication in your eye that force your pupil to dilate. The way the pupil responds to the eye drops will help confirm or deny a diagnosis of Horner syndrome. To confirm the diagnosis, doctors may apply eye drops that contain small amounts of cocaine to the affected eye. If the pupil does not dilate after 30 minutes, Horner's syndrome is diagnosed.Imaging: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) of the brain, spinal cord, chest, or neck is often needed to look for tumors and other serious disorders.Other Tests Include: Blood tests, carotid ultrasound, chest x-ray, and eye drop test.Treatment Options:The treatment of Horner's syndrome depends on the cause of the ailment. In case the disease is caused by a malignant tumor, radiation and chemotherapy are prescribed so as to relieve Horner's syndrome. If the disease is due to a tumor, surgical removal of the tumor is the only feasible way to relieve the symptoms.There are a variety of drugs like Acetophenazine, Levodopa, Chloroprocaine, and Lidocaine, which are instrumental in alleviating the symptoms of Horner's syndrome. However, if the root cause of the ailment is congenital, the disease is incurable.Disclaimer: The following tests, drugs and medications, surgical procedures are in some way related to, or used in the treatment. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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