Omega-3 fatty acid supplements ineffective for treating dry eye


  • Mary Corcoran
  • International Medical News
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While many recommend the use of oral omega-3 fatty acids supplementation to relieve the symptoms of keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye disease, findings from a new trial suggest they may not be beneficial.

As part of the Dry Eye Assessment and Management (DREAM) trial, 349 patients with moderate-to-severe dry eye disease were randomised to receive a daily oral dose of 3000 mg of fish-derived eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids or an olive oil placebo.

After 12 months, signs and symptoms of dry eye disease had improved in both groups, but the study authors said there was no evidence of a beneficial effect of omega-3 acid supplements compared with placebo supplements among patients with dry eye disease.

"We were surprised that the omega-3 supplements had no beneficial effect," said Vatinee Y. Bunya, co-author of the study. "The results are significant and may change the way a lot of ophthalmologists and optometrists treat their patients."

The findings are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.