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To prepare the eye for cataract surgery, drugs must be given to the eye to allow for surgery to take place. Traditionally, dilating drops and drops containing NSAIDs (to control inflammation) are given to the patient well in advance of surgery at repeated time intervals. As well, a gel containing lidocaine is applied to the eye just prior to surgery to anesthetize (reduce pain and feeling) in the area of the eye. Although effective, the procedure is time-consuming and costly for nursing staff. Recently, a few hospitals have reported success in mixing the pupil-dilating and NSAID drops with the lidocaine gel, creating an "anesthetic dilating gel". Although success has been reported, there have been no studies to clearly demonstrate that the "anesthetic dilating gel" is as effective at dilating the pupil and reducing sensitivity of the cornea during surgery than the traditional methods of drops and gel. It is possible that the dilating gel is less effective due to slower diffusion of drugs into the eye. The study will compare the effectiveness of the anesthetic dilating gel with the standard pre-operative pharmacologic regimen for cataract surgery. Stability (maintaining effectiveness over time) and contamination of the study gel will also be assessed. If the dilating gel is shown to be as effective in regards to pupil dilation and corneal anesthesia, while maintaining stability and sterility over time, hospitals can be encouraged to use such a anesthetic dilating gel routinely during pre-operative procedures before cataract surgery.
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Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:
Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
scheduled for first cataract surgery (i.e., first eye)