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Preservative Or Preservative Free…ever Wondered Which Is Better?

Preservative or Preservative Free…ever wondered which is better?

To preserve means to slow down the process of deterioration. Prevalent in the food and beverage industry; cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industry, preservatives are added to help keep the products sterile and stable for longer periods of time. They work by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and by preventing product decomposition, both of which are processes that would lead to alterations that would have a negative impact on the quality of the product.

The Role of Preservatives in Pharmaceutical Products

Traditionally speaking, preservatives used in pharmaceutical products are added to those that have higher water content and serve two purposes, firstly to keep the product sterile and secondly, to prevent the degradation of the product over time.
Keeping the pharmaceutical product sterile requires that the chemical substance added to it be able to keep it free from microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, which can cause disease and infection.
On the other hand, degradation of pharmaceutical products happens when the product comes in contact with oxygen. As this happens the product goes through the process of oxidation, which alters its stability and ultimately its healing function.
The use of preservatives has until recently been a necessary must for the pharmaceutical industry to produce sterile and stable products. However, preservatives are associated with unwanted side-effects.

What are the Harmful Effects of Preservatives?

Harmful Effects of PreservativesUnfortunately, while preservatives are effective at keeping pharmaceutical products sterile and stable, they’ve become counterproductive to the ailments they are trying to heal. The two most common uses of preservatives in medicines are in ophthalmic eye drops and nasal sprays.

Ophthalmic eye drops used to treat dry eyes, glaucoma and eye allergies contain preservatives specifically designed to keep the medication sterile during use for the entire life cycle of the bottle. Unfortunately, the preservatives are very effective against bacterial growth but are not specifically designed to be friendly to the eye.

Preservatives within eye drops are known to

– Damage the tear film

– Cause eye allergies

– Inhibit healing of damaged eye cells such as the corneal epithelium

– Be incompatible with contact lenses

Long-term use will lead to poor production of the tear film, which will result in dry eyes syndrome. It can also roughen the cornea, which can then lead to foreign body sensation and deteriorating vision.

The use of preservatives in nasal sprays remains controversial, with medical studies documenting their harmful effects. Preservatives in nasal sprays commonly tend to cause nasal allergies. Medical studies show that preservatives found in nasal sprays may impair one of the most important local defence mechanisms of the respiratory tract, mucociliary clearance. In simple terms, our respiratory tract is covered by small projecting “hairs” called cilia. These cilia create motions which drain mucus from the nasal passage to the throat from where it is swallowed and digested by stomach juices. Preservatives used in nasal sprays have been found to be toxic to these cilia thus inhibiting them from creating the motions that drain the mucus out of our nasal passages.

Do Preservative Free Eye-Drops and Nasal Sprays Exist?

Preservative Free Blog Article

In short, yes. Today, pharmaceutical companies developed eye drop and nasal spray delivery systems specifically designed to block microbial contamination without the use of preservatives. How?

 By mechanically preventing atmospheric air from entering the bottle and contaminating the medication stored within it, even for long-term use.

These innovative patented delivery systems now allow the production of sterile and stable medicinal products without the use of preservatives and their unwanted effects.

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. I use often eye allergy drops so could you suggest one for me that s preservative free .Thank you.

    1. Hi! I use both nasal ( Nasonex)and eye drops ( Hylo- Gel for lubricating eyes). Which one do you recommend pls?

      1. Hi Mariella,

        Thank you for your comment 🙂

        We recommend using Hylo Eye Care products, which includes Hylo-Gel and Hysan Nasal Sprays. These are all preservative free and available in all pharmacies across Malta & Gozo.
        It is of utmost importance to consult with your Health Care Professional.

    2. Hi Antoinette,

      Thank you for your message 🙂

      We recommend using Azelastin-Comod, which a product focused on allergies and is preservative free. This could be found in all pharmacies across Malta & Gozo.

      It is of utmost importance to consult with your Health Care Professional.

  2. I was operated to remove a floater and it was a success. But my eye is dry and the small catarack got worst that any change of lence could make it better. However I got the other eye perfect vision with spec but after a year i got another smaller floater and is uncomfable to read jumping just in the middle if my eye. I use drops like oily stuff but it interfear to drive immediately and before going to bed is ok but messy. However operations are not my favourite. The vission is not so perfect in one eye and could be much better I m told to remove the catarac. I want to put good stuff in my eyes that have no preservatives I hope.

  3. I also use nose sprays of all kind and I got a sick nose I was told that cannot protect the lungs of warm air. I m allergic and the stomach is full of bacterial and acid that is ruining my throth whic h I protecting all the time for I love singing in the choir but it turn to frequent chest infection. I spending so much money in expensive injections and hope I find a solution to stop frequent flues. Your indications are similsr to my happenings. Can you advise and thank you.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Since this a sensitive case, we recommend that you consult your ENT or Physician. He/she can guide you accordingly on which products are best to treat your condition.

      Thank you for reaching out 🙂

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