Retrobulbar alcohol injection in blind painful eyes

Ann Ophthalmol. 1990 Dec;22(12):460-2.


We studied 39 blind painful eyes in 39 patients who were treated with retrobulbar injection of absolute (96%) alcohol for their severe ocular pain at the King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital from January 1984 to January 1987. There were 21 (54%) male and 18 (46%) female patients; all were followed for at least three months. The protracted ocular pain was mainly due to: end-stage (absolute) glaucoma in 31 (80%) eyes, uveitis or endophthalmitis in four (10%) eyes, or corneal ulcer in two (5%) eyes. One eye had painful phthisis bulbi, and one eye had infraorbital neuralgia. The complications encountered were transient and included blepharoptosis in eight (21%) eyes, external ophthalmoplegia, and corneal epithelial defect. The effective time of the injection to relieve pain ranged from two weeks to two years (mean, 29 weeks). The authors believe that there is still a place for retrobulbar alcohol injection for blind painful eyes when enucleation or evisceration is not possible.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blindness / physiopathology*
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage
  • Ethanol / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Palliative Care*


  • Ethanol