The stellate ganglion is a cluster of nerve cells located in the neck. A stellate ganglion block is when a local anesthetic is injected into this area to numb the nerves. This can provide relief from pain and other symptoms caused by conditions such as shingles, long COVID, PTSD, parosmia, and many more.
The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the body’s response to stress. COVID-induced parosmia is caused by an increase in sympathetic nervous system activity. A stellate ganglion block can reduce or eliminate these symptoms altogether. Research has shown that SGB injection for parosmia will bring the sympathetic nervous system back to homeostasis!
Let’s learn everything there is to know about stellate ganglion block for parosmia and how it can help you!
What is Parosmia?
The human nose is able to detect approximately 1 trillion different smells. This ability is known as olfaction. Parosmia is a disorder of the sense of smell whereby a person perceives smells differently from how they actually are. For example, a person with parosmia may smell roses and instead perceive the smell of rotting flesh. Parosmia can result from damage to the olfactory system, such as that caused by an infection, or it can be a side effect of certain medications, nasal congestion, or head injury.
Parosmia occurs when the olfactory senses have been damaged. These scent-detecting neurons that line your nose tell your brain how to interpret the information of the scent it is smelling. When these neurons get damaged, it changes how your brain perceives smells. These scents can be appetizing, foul, or pleasing.
People suffering from severe parosmia cases often feel physically ill when their brain detects an unpleasant smell. While the severity of parosmia varies from patient to patient, most cases occur due to an infection.
Other possible causes of parosmia include:
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Side effects of cancer treatments
- Chemical exposure
- Neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease
COVID-19 and Parosmia
Anosmia and parosmia can both be associated with having the viral infection COVID-19. While there are other causes for these conditions, many people suffer from the loss of taste and smell due to the virus. Research has found that the virus changes the olfactory system – the area that affects the way you smell.
According to the National Library of Medicine, a study conducted in 2021 of two adults who were recovering from COVID had the same changes. A 28-year-old recovering from anosmia reported he could smell burnt rubber 87 days after being sick. A 32-year-old female reported smelling onions after 72 days of being sick. These cases show parosmia as a long-term complication of COVID, indicating that the olfactory system is recovering.
Much more research is still required on the effects of COVID and the olfactory system, and we are learning more and more about the short and long-term effects on our sense of smell. Having parosmia when recovering from COVID-19, relief can be found in a parosmia stellate ganglion block.
Parosmia normally gets diagnosed by an ear-nose-throat doctor (ENT). You may have to smell different smells and describe and rank the scents. The doctor may ask some of the following questions:
- Do you take any medications?
- Have you had any infections recently?
- Do you have a family history of neurological conditions or cancer?
- What is your lifestyle, such as smoking?
Upon diagnosing parosmia, your doctor will inform you of all available options. However, treatment research has shown that the stellate ganglion block is the most successful.
Stellate Ganglion Block for Parosmia
A stellate ganglion block for parosmia may be an effective treatment as it can help interrupt the signal path between the body and the brain responsible for the distorted sense of smell.
In a study of 10 patients with parosmia, all of whom had damage to the olfactory system, 9 of the patients reported a significant improvement in their sense of smell after receiving a stellate ganglion block. The one patient who did not experience an improvement had been taking a medication that can cause parosmia. The study’s authors suggested that this may have contributed to the lack of improvement.
Stellate Ganglion Block for Long COVID
SGB for parosmia helps to increase blood flow to the brain and helps to resolve malfunctions in the automatic nervous system. The goal is to restore immune system communications and functions by stopping the body from thinking it is still fighting the virus and getting organ and system functions to reset and create normal functions.
Symptoms of Long COVID
More than 600 million people have COVID-19, and many are left with debilitating symptoms we are still learning about. These symptoms can last for months, and each person experiencing long COVID has symptoms of varying severity. The Mayo Clinic has stated that they still haven’t nailed down long COVID, and the list of symptoms associated with the condition is getting longer. These symptoms include:
- Blood clots
- Changes or loss of taste and smell
- Brain fog
- Hair loss
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
Individuals on ventilators who had prolonged hospitalizations also experienced PTSD and muscle weakness from laying in bed for extended periods. In addition, some patients had abnormal thyroid function results, many of these issues due to an overactive sympathetic nervous system.
That’s where stellate ganglion block treatment comes in! Anesthetic gets injected into the stellate ganglion to decrease its response, giving the brain the time it needs to reset.
SGB injection parosmia is intended to return heart rate, CRPs, blood pressure, and cytokines to normal. In addition, it will reduce depression, PTSD, and anxiety. By getting the treatment, you will lower the risk of long COVID diseases, such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Be sure to contact your doctor if your symptoms persist. They can be damaging to your health and wellness if left for an extended period.
Is Stellate Ganglion for Parosmia Effective?
SGB injection for parosmia is an outpatient treatment that includes local anesthetic. This is a minimally invasive procedure, and few side effects occur – often non. Our patients report their parosmia symptoms reduced in just a few short hours after receiving the treatment and can go home on the same day.
A stellate ganglion block is generally safe. The most common side effect is temporary numbness in the neck, face, and arm on the same side of the body as the injection. If you are suffering from parosmia, talk to your doctor about whether a parosmia stellate ganglion block may be right for you.
You will be asked to lie down on your back, the area for the injection sight will get cleaned, and a topical anesthetic will be administered in the region for your comfort. You will feel a slight sting when the needle gets inserted, but the anesthetic will help prevent you from experiencing discomfort. The process takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Expect to be in the office for a total of one hour, which includes speaking to your doctor about your questions and concerns.
There are minor side effects of SGB injection for parosmia. After the procedure, your doctor will monitor you for 15 – 20 minutes to ensure you don’t experience side effects before going home to recover.
Your doctor will use image guidance to find the precise spot to perform the procedure. Each of our SGB doctors is highly trained and experienced, so you can rest assured that you receive the best care possible. The SGB injection for parosmia will the hyperactive system reset, and you will begin to feel less irritable, sleep better, and begin to smell and taste better within hours. Our patients report feeling safe and calm after just one dose!
Research shows that SGB treatment is a long-term solution to parosmia symptoms; however, sometimes, a second injection is required. This usually takes place 1 – 2 months after the first appointment and can lead to a more speedy recovery.
Stellate Ganglion Block Parosmia Near Me
If you’ve typed “stellate ganglion block for parosmia near me” in your search engine, you’re in the right place. We have board certified doctors that have tried and tested methods in administering SGB injections for parosmia. Visit one of our locations in MD, VA, and PA to get the best possible care from doctors dedicated to your health and wellness.
Our clinics specialize in providing innovative and precise therapies for mental health conditions and SGB therapy. With high-quality equipment and tools, we will provide excellent, minimally invasive treatment to provide relief from PTSD, anxiety, and parosmia symptoms for months or years to come. No more suffering from mental fog, loss of taste or smell, joint discomfort, or anxiety – we’ve got you covered.
At the SGB Docs, the stellate ganglion block for parosmia cost is better than our competitors. In addition, we provide various financing options to ensure you get the care you need at an affordable cost with a two-injection discount.
Contact the professionals at SGB Docs for more information, and get on the road to recovery today!