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Horner Syndrome in Children


Horner syndrome

is a nerve condition that affects one side of your child's face. The condition is caused by an injury to a nerve that controls that side of the face. Your child may have developed Horner syndrome during birth. Horner syndrome may be a sign of a serious condition such as a stroke or aneurysm. It is important to seek immediate care if your child develops other problems, such as head or neck pain.

Common signs and symptoms of Horner syndrome:

  • Smaller pupil in one eye, and the pupil does not dilate (widen) well
  • Drooping upper eyelid, or a higher lower eyelid
  • The colored part of the affected eye may be lighter in color than the other eye
  • Less sweating on one or both sides of your child's face or in a small area on one side
  • Redness on the white part of your child's eye

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child has head or neck pain.
  • Your child has sudden vision changes or problems.
  • Your child is dizzy or weak.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has new or worsening signs or symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


Treatment of Horner syndrome depends on the cause. Signs and symptoms usually go away if the cause can be treated. Your child may need any of the following:

  • An ophthalmologist (eye specialist) may be able to find and treat vision problems that develop. Your child's vision may not develop normally if the eyelid drooping is severe.
  • Occupational therapy may be helpful if your child has trouble seeing because of eyelid drooping. An occupational therapist can help your child strengthen affected eye muscles. The therapist can also help your child find ways to do school or daily activities more easily if he or she has vision problems.
  • Surgery or medication may be used if your child has severe eyelid drooping.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Your child's healthcare provider may refer your child to a nerve or eye specialist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Horner Syndrome in Children (Ambulatory Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.