Introduction to Horner's syndrome
Horner's syndrome is medical condition that features with the characteristic trias including enophtalmus, miosis and ptosis. The condition develops as a consequence of the damage of sympathetic nervous system. The patient may additionally complain about the swelling of the affected eyelids. Heterochromia, which is a difference in coloration of the iris, and cut in sweat production on the affected side of the face are present as well.
Human nervous system can be divided into the voluntary and the involuntary. The involuntary nervous system is also known as autonomic nervous system. Further classification of autonomic nervous system includes sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Human organs, blood vessels, muscles, and glands are innervated by both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Still these two systems act like antagonists. The sympathetic nerves that innervate the eye come from the brain. There are three neuronal pathways of sympathetic nervous system that are in charge with innervations of the eye. Horner's syndrome occurs if the damage occurs at any point of this pathway.
Causes of Horner's Syndrome
The fact is that Horner's syndrome is not an actual medical condition but it is a consequence of some other serious medical condition. The causes of Horner's syndrome are divided into three groups according to the neurons that have been damaged.
- The First Neuron Horner's Syndrome
- The Second Neuron Horner's Syndrome
Additionally it can be caused by aortic aneurysm, mandibular tooth abscess and infections of the middle ear. Osteoarthritis of the neck or neck trauma can also result in Horner's syndrome. As for tumors, neuroblastoma can affect the second neuronal pathway.
- The Third Neuron Horner's Syndrome