Karl Koller, Austrian ophthalmologist

Karl Koller, Austrian ophthalmologist

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Credit: U.S. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Karl Koller (1857-1944), Austrian ophthalmologist. Koller is best known for introducing cocaine as a local anaesthetic for eye surgery. He studied the effects of cocaine as a medical student along with his friend Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Noting its numbing effects, Koller realised that cocaine would be beneficial in eye surgery, where involuntary reflexes caused by the slightest touch made operating difficult.

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