A nerve problem in the eyes and face can indicate Horner syndrome. This syndrome can be present after a person experiences another medical problem, like a stroke or a tumor, which can damage the sympathetic nerves.
Symptoms Your eyelid may droop and the size of your pupils may appear larger if you have Horner syndrome. You may also notice that you are not sweating as you normally would on one side of your face, with the other side unaffected. According to MayoClinic, babies who are born with Horner syndrome may have one eye that is lighter in color than the other eye.
Test A doctor will check your eyes to test for Horner syndrome. A pupil dilation test will help the doctor see if your dilation is abnormal. The test is conducted using eye drops and you may be referred to an eye specialist. Once Homer syndrome is confirmed, the doctor will complete other tests to determine the reason behind the syndrome. Blood tests and x-rays are ordered to search for tumors. An MRI, a spinal tap or blood vessel tests may be necessary as well.
Causes A cyst that forms in your spinal cord can cause Horner syndrome. The cyst damages the sympathetic nerves, just as a tumor, stroke or headache can damage the nerves. People with a damaged spinal cord or damage to an artery during a dissection can may also suffer from Horner syndrome, according to MayoClinic. If you have lung cancer, you can possibly experience the symptoms of Horner yndrome.