FreshKote eye drops were developed by Dr. Frank Holly, Ph.D., FAAO. He spent 40 years researching different eye conditions and solutions before patenting the synergistic FreshKote formula, which is a dry eye lubricant that is based on polymer blends. It is said to be one of a kind, and is a very popular product, with user reviews averaging 5 stars.
FreshKote contains the following ingredients:
- 2% Polyvinyl pyrrolidone
- 9% Polyvinyl alcohol (87% hydrolyzed)
- 8% Polyvinyl alcohol (99% hydrolyzed)
Benefits of FreshKote
According to the manufacturer, there are four specific advantages of FreshKote drops for the surface of the eye. These are:
- A reduction in oncotic pressure. When people have dry eye syndrome (DES), they often find that their epithelium becomes loosened and/or damaged. This means that water can start to build up and cause swelling. In the worst case scenario, this could lead to corneal erosion. In most people, this translates into pain in the eye, due to a buildup of pressure. FreshKote offsets this pressure by keeping the tears on the surface of the eye as well. Furthermore, it improves the overall health of the epithelium itself, by removing excess water.
- It offers complete wettability, which means it is able to adhere to the parts of the eye that are dry. People with DES often find that they have dry spots, due to insufficient or inadequate tear production. FreshKote addresses this by staying on the entire surface of the eye, providing instant relief.
- It helps to restore the osmolarity of the tear film. In most DES cases, the quality of the tear is insufficient as one or more of the layers of the tear film (water, oil, or nutrient) is unbalanced. FreshKote aims to improve the overall quality of the tear film.
- It restores the lipid layer. In almost every case of DES, the underlying problem is that the lipid layer, which is the oily substance in tears, is insufficient. In fact, the National Eye Institute has reported that this is the main cause of DES in 75% of cases. Generally, this is due to a dysfunction in the Meibomian glands, which produce the oil needed for the tear film. If there is a dysfunction that causes insufficient lipid components, tears can evaporate about four times as quickly. FreshKote aims to restore the oily substance in the tear, thereby ensuring tears no longer evaporate too fast.
- Last but not least, FreshKote does use a preservative, but this is a highly effective, non-irritating one, Polixetonium, for which they have received a patent. Polixetonium is antifungal and antimicrobial. Compared to other, more common, preservatives like benzalkonium chloride, it is almost non-irritating. Finally, it helps to wet surfaces, including on people who wear contact lenses.
What Is FreshKote For?
FreshKote drops have been designed to:
- Provide temporary relief from irritation and burning caused by DES.
- Other conditions if prescribed by a physician.
Warnings with FreshKote
FreshKote should not be used if you know you are allergic to any of the ingredients. Furthermore, there are a number of medical conditions that could interact with the drops. This is why it is important to always speak to a physician or pharmacist first, as they are aware of all potential interactions. If:
- You are trying to conceive, are pregnant or nursing
- You are currently taking any kind of medication (prescription, over the counter, herbal, or supplement)
- You have known allergies to substances, including food or medication
You should not use FreshKote until you have been told to do so by a physician.
Applying FreshKote Drops
FreshKote drops have been created exclusively for use on ocular surfaces. Hence, you must avoid contact with mucous membranes, including the mouth and nose. An insert is included with every purchase, which demonstrates how the product should be used. You must go through these instructions and, if you have any questions, speak to your pharmacist or the company itself. To use the drops, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands using a gentle, antibacterial soap.
- Tilt your head back and pull your lower eyelid down, creating a pouch.
- Put a single drop of FreshKote into the pouch, while looking up and away from the dropper.
- Close your eyes and apply pressure to the corner of your eye, near your nose, for around two minutes straight away. Do not blink.
- Wipe away any excess drops after two minutes.
It is very important that you make sure the dropper does not come into contact with the eye itself. This is because bacteria and other organisms could grow on it, increasing the risk of cross-contamination. You should also make sure that you close the bottle properly and that you store it as described. Your doctor should have told you how often to use the product, or it will be on the instruction leaflet. You should follow the recommendations.
Before you use FreshKote drops, you should remove your contact lenses. If you notice a change of color or cloudiness in the product, you should stop using it. If you experience continued redness, soreness, irritation, pain in the eye, or vision changes, you should seek medical attention straight away. Additionally, if after three days, the condition has not improved, you should also seek help.
FreshKote should be stored at room temperature at all times. You must make sure it is not near light, moisture, or heat. The product should also not be kept in the bathroom due to the moisture level there. Lastly, make sure it is out of reach of pets and children.
Because FreshKote is used to treat eye problems, you should not share it with others. While you must try to avoid your dropper coming into contact with the surface of the eye, this can happen by accident. If you then share it with someone else, you could spread infectios.
FreshKote Side Effects
FreshKote is a medication and all medications have the potential to cause side effects. The vast majority of people, however, do not experience any side effects, or only minor ones. Blurry vision is the only commonly reported side effect by FreshKote users.
Severe side effects are very rare. If you experience these, however, you should seek immediate medical attention. The side effects to be aware of include:
- A severe allergic reaction (swelling of the tongue, lips, face, or mouth, chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath of difficulty breathing, hives, and/or rashes).
- Serious eye irritation such as redness or pain.
- Sudden changes in vision.
- The condition getting worse.
Most of the time, if you experience any side effects, you will not need any medical attention. Your body has to get used to a new type of medication, and this adjustment period is usually short in duration. If you have been prescribed FreshKote, your physician may also have provided you with information on how to minimize the chances of developing side effects, and what you can do if you do experience them. However, never be afraid to speak to a physician or a pharmacist if you do experience side effects and are worried about them. The side effects reported with FreshKote include:
- Discomfort or redness of the eye
- Irritation that was not present before applying the medication
- A degree of light sensitivity. Be aware that full photophobia (extreme sensitivity to light) does require immediate medical attention
- Stickiness of the eyelashes, or some matting
- Mild swelling in the eyelids (upper and lower)
- Watery eyes
Many of these side effects, however, are common symptoms of DES, the very condition for which FreshKote is generally prescribed.
It is possible to overdose on FreshKote, for instance, by taking multiple doses at the same time, or because accidental contact with the mouth has occurred. If you believe you, or someone around you, has overdosed on these drops, you must contact your nearest poison control center and visit the emergency room. This has to be done straight away and as a matter of urgency.
It is important to understand that the information provided above should not be used for you to diagnose yourself or to decide whether or not you should use FreshKote. That is something only your physician is able to decide, as they are more aware of what your personal situation is like, whether you are currently taking any medication, and whether you have any allergies.
Resources and References:
Which Drop for Dry Eye? – How to choose the right drops for dry eye. (Review of Optometry)
Freshkote for Eye Dryness and Redness: User Reviews – User reviews of FreshKote as treatment for eye redness and dryness. (Drugs.com)
Freshkote Drug Facts – Information on FreshKote eye drops. (FreshKote.com)
Facts about Dry Eye – Information on dry eye syndrome. (National Eye Institute)