Horner's syndrome

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled diagram of the structure of the retina

Horner's syndrome is also known as Horner syndrome, Bernard-Horner syndrome, and Oculosympathetic palsy.

(These synonyms are mentioned for information but are not necessarily included as separate entries in this section. Where multiple entries are included, the synonym text links to its entry.)


Horner's syndrome is a rare syndrome that consists of:

  • a constricted pupil (of the eye),
  • drooping of the upper eyelid (a condition that can also occur on its own, when it is known as blepharoptosis or as ptosis), and
  • lack of sweating on the affected side of the face (the technical term for "lack of sweating" when it would normally occur being "anhidrosis").

The cause of Horner's syndrome is generally considered to be due to a disorder of the sympathetic nerves supplying the affected part of the eye and face.

Thorough diagnosis by an appropriate professional is important. The physical signs comprising Horner's syndrome may be indicative of other underlying conditions so should be investigated as clinically appropriate.

Treatment of Horner's syndrome can vary because it is recommended according to the underlying conditions.

Horner's syndrome is named after Swiss Ophthalmologist, Johann Friedrich Horner (1831 - 1886).

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).

Other related pages include

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

The following books may also be of interest:

The Aging Eye (Harvard Medical School)
MCQ Companion to the Eye (Textbook)
The Secret of Perfect Vision: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Nearsightedness
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Glaucoma: The Essential Treatments and Advances That Could Save Your Sight

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