Essential fatty acids for dry eye:a review

Roncone, Marco, Bartlett, Hannah and Eperjesi, Frank (2010). Essential fatty acids for dry eye:a review. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, 33 (2), pp. 49-54.

Abstract

Purpose Dry eye is a common complaint often encountered in optometric practice. However, it is a difficult condition to treat as clinical signs do not always correlate with patient symptoms. Essential fatty acids (EFA), particularly omega-3 EFA, may be effective in dealing with the underlying causes. Methods A literature review was carried out on the PubMed, ScienceDirect and Ovid databases. Searches included keywords such as ‘dry eye’, ‘essential fatty acids’ and ‘nutrition’ to find articles relating to the treatment of dry eye syndrome (DES) with omega-3 EFAs. Results Omega-3 and -6 EFAs need to be consumed together within a reasonable ratio to be effective. Currently, typical diets in developed countries lack omega-3 EFA and this results in an overexposure to omega-6. Omega-3 supplementation has an anti-inflammatory effect, inhibiting creation of omega-6 prostaglandin precursors. Omega-3 EFAs also demonstrate anti-inflammatory action in the lacrimal gland preventing apoptosis of the secretory epithelial cells. Supplementation clears meibomitis, allowing a thinner, more elastic lipid layer to protect the tear film and cornea. Conclusion Dietary supplementation of omega-3 EFA has already proven to be effective in coronary heart disease and arthritis. Safety is not a concern as it works synergistically with omega-6 in the body. Evidence suggests that supplementation with omega-3 EFA may be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of DES.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clae.2009.11.002
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Optometry
Life & Health Sciences > Ophthalmic Research Group
Life & Health Sciences > Applied Health Research Group
Life & Health Sciences
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Contact lens and anterior eye. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Roncone, M, Bartlett, H & Eperjesi, F, 'Essential fatty acids for dry eye: a review', Contact lens and anterior eye, vol 33, no. 2 (2010) DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clae.2009.11.002
Uncontrolled Keywords: dietary supplements,drug dose-response relationship,dry eye syndromes,essential fatty acids,humans,prevalence,treatment outcome,Ophthalmology,Optometry
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Related URLs: http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77950368768&partnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
Published Date: 2010-04
Authors: Roncone, Marco
Bartlett, Hannah ( 0000-0002-7531-6902)
Eperjesi, Frank ( 0000-0003-4358-0095)

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