The 4 classic signs of Horner’s syndrome affect one side of the face only. They include:
- Drooping of the eyelid,
- Delayed dilation of the pupil
- The affected eyeball seeming to sink into its socket
- A decrease of sweating on the affected side
Horner’s syndrome signs may appear in a baby immediately after birth or appear during their first weeks or months.
If you, a nurse, a doctor, or another caregiver notice one or several of these signs, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis and find out the cause. Some causes of Horner’s syndrome may have other, much more serious consequences.
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Understanding Horner’s Syndrome in Your Baby
The 4 classic signs of Horner’s syndrome include:
Ptosis is a characteristic sign of Horner’s syndrome that may be the most noticeable. This drooping of the upper eyelid may interfere with vision when severe.
Miosis is when one pupil is smaller than the other. This occurs as a result of dilation lag, when one pupil reacts faster than the other to changes in light. This may be especially apparent when a light source is removed, and the pupil needs to open further to react to darker conditions.
Anhidrosis is a decrease in the ability to sweat to cool the skin on the affected side of the face.
The Appearance of a Sinking Eyeball
Enophthalmos is a condition characterized by the eyeball sinking into the eye socket. Although many people believe that this is a symptom of Horner’s syndrome, current research indicates that ptosis simply creates the appearance of enophthalmos, while the position of the eyeball remains unchanged.
Other Symptoms Often Experienced in Conjunction with Horner’s Syndrome
In addition to the 4 classic signs of Horner’s syndrome, babies and children with damage to the nerve pathways causing Horner’s syndrome may also experience other symptoms related to their injuries. This could include:
- Difficulty seeing
- Problems with coordination and muscle movement
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Pain in the neck or headache
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Causes of Horner’s Syndrome in Newborns and Infants
Horner’s syndrome may be caused by injury or other damage to the nerves that connect the brain to the face and the eye on one side of the face. This damage may occur because of:
- Trauma during delivery, including injury to the neck, shoulder, or upper spinal cord area
- An injury caused by a lack of blood or lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain
- A tumor or other damage in the brain, eye, neck, lung, or another area
One reason why it is paramount that you get an accurate diagnosis and work to get to the bottom of what caused your child’s symptoms is that neuroblastoma is a common cause of Horner’s syndrome in children and babies. This type of cancer can be deadly if not treated early.
If your doctor believes that your baby has Horner’s syndrome, they may recommend seeing a specialist to confirm the diagnosis. Your baby may also require additional testing to rule out neuroblastoma and other serious causes of the signs of Horner’s syndrome.
Pursuing a Horner’s Syndrome Birth Injury Claim for Your Baby
If your child suffered a birth injury caused by medical negligence, you may be able to seek justice via financial recovery. This could allow you to recover compensation to pay for their medical care, ongoing support and treatment, out-of-pocket expenses, mental anguish, and other intangible expenses.
An attorney who represents families whose children were the victims of birth injury medical malpractice in your state may be able to help you understand:
- If your case has merit
- Who is liable for your child’s injuries
- The steps you need to take to hold them responsible
- The role of medical experts in your case
- How long you have to file a lawsuit if necessary
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Get Help from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Today
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group supports families in Horner’s syndrome medical malpractice lawsuits nationwide. We may be able to help your family build a case against the negligent healthcare provider who injured your child.
Our firm can handle all communications and legal work when we represent you. Keep in mind that each state has a statute of limitations that puts a legal deadline on how long you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
For a free case review, including information on what deadlines pertain to your case, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529. We may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front payments required.