How Serious is Horner Syndrome?

What is Horner Syndrome?

Horner syndrome is referred to a collection of symptoms that are caused due to a disruption in the nerve pathway of the sympathetic nervous system which connects the brain to the face and eyes. This condition normally affects only one side of the face. An individual with Horner Syndrome normally has a smaller pupil size on the affected side than the other. The affected side of the face also has decreased sweat even in very hot conditions.

Normally, Horner Syndrome results due to certain medical conditions like a stroke; however, an injury to the spinal cord also is one of the primary causes of Horner Syndrome.

Treatment wise, there is no specific treatment for Horner Syndrome but identifying the underlying cause and getting treatment for it in majority of the cases normalizes the function of the dysfunctional nerve pathway. This article details whether Horner Syndrome is a serious medical condition or not.

How Serious is Horner Syndrome?

Coming to the seriousness of the condition, Horner Syndrome by itself is not a serious condition but the underlying cause of it can be serious. As stated, Horner Syndrome is caused due to a stroke or a tumor. The symptoms caused by Horner Syndrome are relatively benign and pose no threat to the overall health of an individual.

The condition that causes it is more of a worry. A trip to the emergency room is warranted in cases where the symptoms of Horner Syndrome appear immediately after an injury especially to the spinal cord. This signals the onset of a more serious complication that can require immediate treatment. Other than this, Horner Syndrome itself is not serious.

To summarize, Horner Syndrome is a collection of symptoms that are caused due to disruption of nerve pathway of the sympathetic nervous system. This results in droopiness of the eyelid, anisicoria, and hypohidrosis or decreased sweat in the affected area of the face.

Horner Syndrome by no means is a serious medical condition and the symptoms caused by it are rather benign. However, the medical condition that causes Horner Syndrome is generally a serious medical condition like a stroke or a tumor

These conditions are serious and require constant monitoring and diligent treatment as they tend to have complications which may severely dent the overall health status of the patient.

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 3, 2019

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