Study Finds Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Improve Dry Eye

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Study Finds Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Improve Dry Eye

Study Finds Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Improve Dry Eye

Omega 3 Fatty Acids for the Treatment of Dry EyeOmega 3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish oils and other supplements, have been shown to be beneficial to patients with dry eye.  More specifically, re-esterified omega 3 fatty acids from dietary supplements have demonstrated an improvement in dry eye perhaps due to an increased bioavailability of essential fatty acids.  

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has been recommended by the International Dry Eye Workshop and International Workshop on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction as primary therapy for the treatment of dry eye due to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).  MGD has also been associated with high cholesterol.  

Recent evidence now shows that oral supplements of omega-3 essential fatty acids improves the signs and symptoms of dry eye.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

The normal tear film is composed of 3 layers.  The superficial oily layer is produced by the Meibomian glands and prevents evaporation of the tears.  These glands are found in your eyelids with openings along the edges of the eyelids.  

The middle layer of the tear film is the actual “watery” component of the tear film.  The bottom layer is a type of mucous which allows the tears to coat the eye and spread evenly.

Dry eye is either a result of insufficient tear production or poor secretions of meibum.  If there is insufficient or poor quality meibum, tears will evaporate too rapidly.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is one of the most common causes of dry eye syndrome.  MGD results in secretions which are too thick and can not be expressed or secretions of poor quality.

Study Shows Dry Eye Improvement

As reported in Cornea, 105 patients with dry eye disease were studied for 12 weeks.  Half of the patients received 12 weeks of omega-3 fatty acids (PRN Dry Eye Omega Benefits) while the other “placebo” half received safflower oil.

The group receiving the omega-3 fatty acids showed an improvement in multiple parameters related to assessing dry eye:

  • Tear osmolarity
  • Tear break-up time (TBUT)
  • Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI)
  • MMP-9
  • Corneal Staining
  • Schirmer test
  • Omega 3 index

In addition, the group receiving the PRN Dry Eye Omega Benefits also had decreased symptoms of dry eye, including: burning, tearing and redness.

Dry Eye Omega Benefits (PRN)

The actual supplement used for the study is manufactured by PRN (Physician Recommended Nutriceuticals).  During the study, patients were given the oral supplements for the 12 week duration of the study.  Dry Eye Omega Benefits provides a unique “re-esterified” combination of EPA and DHA fatty acids which may add to the bioavailability of the fatty acids.

We are impressed with results of the “re-esterified” omega 3 supplements and believe the chemical composition is superior to other omega 3 supplements in the ability to improve the tear film and help dry eyes.  

Moreover, the “re-esterified” omega 3 supplements may have numerous benefits when taken before and after refractive eye surgery or cataract surgery.

Improvement in many of the signs of dry eye can occur as early as 6 weeks.

Give us a call and schedule an appointment to evaluate your dry eye!

Mark Whitten, M.D.
Vision Correction Surgeon

LASIK & Cataract

Shilpa Rose, M.D.
Vision Correction & Dry Eye Specialist


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