Fatty acid supplements “no better than placebo” in treatment of dry eye

A year-long US trial involving 349 dry eye patients finds omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is ineffective in the treatment of dry eye disease


A study by American researchers has found that treating dry eye disease with omega-3 fatty acid supplements has no greater effect than those treated with a placebo.

As part of the multi-centre trial, 349 patients either took a daily oral dose of fish-derived n−3 eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids or an olive oil placebo.

At the end of the 12-month trial period, the average change in Ocular Surface Disease Index scores between the two groups was not significantly different.

After a year, mean symptom scores for people in both groups had improved substantially.

Study author, Dr Maureen Maguire, observed that the findings highlight the difficulties of judging whether a treatment actually helps a particular dry eye patient.

“More than half the people taking placebo reported substantial symptom improvement during the year-long study,” she shared.