Meet the researcher: Alison Ng on fatty acids and dry eye

OT  finds out about a study exploring the effects of supplementation with omega 3 and omega 6 on dry eye disease

omega three
Getty/Science Photo Library

CORE researcher Alison Ng has outlined the findings of a study that examined the effect of using nutritional supplements to address the symptoms of dry eye disease.

In an interview with OT, Ng discussed research published in Optometry and Vision Science in January.

The trial involved patients with moderate and severe dry eye disease who were assigned either a treatment supplement with a combination of fatty acids or a placebo supplement containing coconut and olive oil.

To ensure that participants did not know whether they had been assigned a placebo or treatment, the supplement was given an artificial citrus flavouring to mask the taste.

“Overall we found that there was no significant difference on the treatment when compared to the placebo in terms of symptom scores,” Ng shared with OT.

However, there was a difference when ocular surface disease index scores were compared.

The difference was the most marked in patients with the most extreme dry eye symptoms.

Asked for her thoughts on the shift in subjective findings while objective tests remained comparable, Ng said: “We know that symptoms and signs don’t always correlate particularly well. It is a slightly controversial topic, but certainly the anti-inflammatory angle of targeting the disease process has some merit.”