Cataract is defined as loss of transparency of the natural lens and is usually an age-related phenomenon. The only recognized treatment available for cataract involves surgery. An ideal anaesthetic should allow for pain-free surgery with no systemic or local complications. It should be cost effective and should facilitate a stress-free procedure for surgeon and patient alike. Topical anaesthesia involves applying anaesthetic eye drops to the surface of the eye prior to and during surgery. This has found large acceptance especially in the USA where it is used by 61% of cataract surgeons. Many surgeons who perform cataract surgery under topical anaesthesia also use intraoperative supplementary intracameral lidocaine (injected directly into the anterior chamber of the eye). The benefits and possible risks of intracameral lidocaine have been assessed by a number of randomized controlled trials, but the results have been conflicting and many of the endpoints have been heterogeneous.