During labor and delivery, families rely on physicians to act with great judgment and caution. They are responsible for the wellness of brand new lives and any mistake can make the difference between life and death. When poor decisions are made, mothers and babies can face a variety of medical injuries. Horner's Syndrome is a condition in newborns where the cluster of nerves running from the brain to the face and eye are interrupted, causing facial injury. Also called oculosympathetic palsy, the syndrome affects about one in every 6,200 babies, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Signs and Symptoms
Horner's Syndrome is characterized by a number of signs and symptoms:
***Generally, the condition only affects one side of the face.
***The upper eyelid droops down over the eye.
***Disproportionate pupil sizes result from a constricted pupil within the affected eye.
***The affected eye may constantly appear bloodshot.
***The affected eye may look as though it is sunken in its cavity.
***The baby may appear to have different color eyes due to a lightening of the iris in the affected eye.
***There is an absence of any perspiration on the affected side of the face.
Horner's Syndrome is not a disease in and of itself and, though its symptoms are undesirable, the NIH reports that it does not negatively affect general health or the baby's ability to see. However, the underlying nerve damage may prove extremely dangerous and even life threatening. For this reason, treatment of Horner's Syndrome generally focuses on the nerve injury.