A paper “Sphenopalatine Phenomen” by Hiram Byrd stated “That the pain of all eye lesions may be stopped by cocaine to the nasal ganglion….is a fact that has been repeatedly observed.”
There is a great deal of current research into Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks to treat a wide variety of symptoms including chronic daily headache, migraine and trigeminal neuralgia.
This old article in the Annals o Internal Medicine (JAMA) was published in 1930 and looked at 2000 patients who received a total of 10,000 blocks also stated that the Nasal Ganglion (SPG, Sphenopalatine Ganglion, Pterygopalatine Ganglion) Blocks were effective for treating the pain of Iritis, the pain of keratitis, the pain of interstitial keratitis associated with syphilis, the pain of conjunctivitis, the pain of optic neuritis from methyl alcohol poisening, the pain of traumatic ulcer to the cornea, blepharospasm, functional hyperesthesia of the ciliary muscle, pain in the eyes associated with errors in refraction, photophobia (excewssive sensitivity to light) , excessive lacrimation, intra-ocular tension and pain of glaucoma, pain of phylctenula (an inflammatory syndrome caused by a delayed hypersensitivity reaction) , the pain of Chalazion (a cyst in eyelid hardened oils blocking the gland).
This article does not talk about the Nasal Block curing the underlying problem but rather relieving the phenomena of pain in the eye.
It is important to note that an opthamologists are the primary physicians of the eye along with optometrists. Diagnosis of disorders should be made by these professionals.
Chronic eye pain or periodic eye pain is extremely distracting to patients and decrease their quality of life. Much of the innervation to the eye is through the trigeminal nervous system and the autonomic fibers, both sympathetic and parasympathetic pass through the Sphenopalatine Ganglion in the pterygopalatine fosaa on the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve.
Self-administration of SPG Blocks may be an excellent solution for patients troubled by eye pain. They can be self -administered safely and effectively for many patients with cotton-tipped nasal catheters and lidocaine.
The book “Miracles on Park Avenue” detailed the medical practice of Dr Milton Reder who utilized SPG blocks for a wide variety of problems including eye pain.
Eye pain is a common complaint of patients with TMJ disorders and is the pain is often resolved with treatment.
Neuromuscular Dentistry (NMD) is an excellent modality for treating TMJ disorders and associated MPD (Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction). NMD utilizes the Myomonitor a ULF-TENS used to stimulate the TRigeminal and Facial Nerves to relax masticatory and facial muscles. The Myomonitor will also stimulate the Sphenopalatine Ganglion due to its position on the Maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve.
The trigeminal nerve carries fibers that innervate the cornea, ciliary gland and lower eyelid so it is not surprising that it can be effective for eye pain.
This article in Archives of Internal medicine was published in 1930. A great deal of the research was from Sluder who first described the block in 1903 for eliminating headache (now thought to have been a cluster headache).
I only recently obtained the original article and I am amazed by the amount of detailed information that it presented. Even more amazing is that this remarkable block was almost lost in obscurity for many years.
I have been utilizing SPG Blocks since 1986 after a patient gave me a copy of the book “Miracles on Park Avenue” and asked me to find a doctor in Chicago who did the blocks.
I eventually traveled to Kansas City and learned how to do the block from Dr Jack Haden, a dentist well known for his treatment of TMJ disorders.
The authors of this article stated other conditions like progressive deafness and vertigo but also discussed that it is not a cure for the underlying disease.
Te last sentence of their conclusion was very powerful stating: ” The sum total of its usefulness is such that it should command the attention of everyone who engages in the practice of medicine”
Below are a few examples of the many uses of Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks:
This link discusses use of SPG Block for Trigeminal Neuralgia: https://www.sphenopalatineganglionblocks.com/trigeminal-neuralgiaspg-block-sphenopalatine-ganglion-block-treatment/
This link discusses use of SPG Block for intactable/ refractory migraines: https://www.sphenopalatineganglionblocks.com/intractable-headaches-migraines-sphenopalatine-ganglion-spg-blocks-may-fastest-safest-treatment/
Sphenopalatine ganglion block for treating head and neck cancer pain: https://www.sphenopalatineganglionblocks.com/intractable-headaches-migraines-sphenopalatine-ganglion-spg-blocks-may-fastest-safest-treatment/
SPG Blocks as a pain Management tool: https://www.sphenopalatineganglionblocks.com/sphenopalatine-ganglion-block-underutilized-tool-pain-management/
Byrd H, Byrd W (1930) Sphenopalatine phenomena: present status of knowledge. Archives of Internal Medicine 46(6): 1026-1038.