Relief of Wide Variety of Eye Pains with SPG Blocks: Self-Administered SPG Blocks May Be a Treatment of Eye Pain.

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:

This link discusses use of SPG Block for intactable/ refractory migraines:

Sphenopalatine ganglion block for treating head and neck cancer pain:

SPG Blocks as a pain Management tool:

Byrd H, Byrd W (1930) Sphenopalatine phenomena: present status of knowledge. Archives of Internal Medicine 46(6): 1026-1038.

Comments 1

  1. Bethany Sprague

    I have been using pH neutral 5% dextrose SPGs in practice (Im a NP) for the past few years for many conditions. I believe dextrose to be superior to lidocaine or steroids due to side effect profile. I started because of this study:
    Hope this helps!



    Thank you for your excellent information. I often use a small amount of Dextrose added to the Lidocaine for Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks. This will increase local tissue levels of insulin and increase tissue permeability for the block. I will also on occasion incorporate a small amount of insulin again with the idea of increasing permeability.

    I have copied abstract below:

    While I did utilize lidocaine I was unaware of the TRPV1 ion channels. Thank you for your information.
    I love learning about new aspects of treatment that can benefit patients.

    Oxymetazoline added in small amount to lidocaine soaked tip will also increase effectiveness. This is how the anesthetic Kovanze works.

    Journal of Medical Science And clinical Research (Print & Online Journal)
    Category: Volume 06 Issue 08 August 2018
    Hits: 1449
    Title: Dextrose Treats Optic Neuritis
    Author: Dr Dina Soliman
    Corresponding Author
    The sphenopalatine ganglion—also known as pterygopalatine ganglion, Meckel’s ganglion, Sluder’s ganglion and nasal ganglion—is the largest of the four parasympathetic ganglia associated with the trigeminal nerve. It is considered one of the largest neuron collection in the head outside of the brain, being exposed to the environment via the nasal mucosa. Classically, refractory head and face pain were treated with a series of ineffectual medications with intolerable side effects – cycling from one to the next based on trial and error. Although the sphenopalatine ganglion is a little-known region in the face, pain management specialists believe that it is very effective in the treatment of many conditions. It is a life changing, safe and established procedure that offers the pain sufferers an immediate relief from their pain. Dextrose 5% concentration in a neutral pH sterile water solution treats the neurogenic inflammation and stops the neuropathic pain by blocking the TRPV1 ion channels. In this paper, a 32 years old lady was suffering from severe headache, with an impaired vision of the left eye. The Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) showed an attack of optic neuritis. After 5 sessions of treatment with buffered dextrose in 5% concentration, the VEP showed a resolved attack of optic neuritis.

    Conclusion: Buffered Dextrose in 5% concentration gave marvelous results in the treatment of headache and optic neuritis, and helped the patient to regain her vision.

    Keywords: Sweet nasal treatment, Lyftogt perineural injection treatment, optic neuritis, headache, dextrose #TRPV1ionchannels, #SPGBlock5%buffereddextrose.

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