Cocaine’s use in ophthalmology: our 100-year heritage.

Daniel Albert // Publications // Jan 01 1985

PubMed ID: 3885453

Author(s): Altman AJ, Albert DM, Fournier GA. Cocaine’s use in ophthalmology: our 100-year heritage. Surv Ophthalmol. 1985 Jan-Feb;29(4):300-6. PMID 3885453

Journal: Survey Of Ophthalmology, Volume 29, Issue 4,

One hundred years ago the fledgling ophthalmologist Carl Koller demonstrated that the alkaloid cocaine was a local anesthetic suitable for rendering the eye temporarily insensible to pain. It was an event of historical significance, as his discovery opened the door not only to a new era in ophthalmic surgery, but to surgery in general. In this paper we review the ancient uses of the coca leaf, the historical events leading up to and following Koller’s discovery, and the present day uses of cocaine in ophthalmology and medicine.