A clinical trial
was conducted to determine whether marine omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial for patients with dry eye disease.
Dry eye disease is a common eye condition that occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. It can lead to discomfort, irritation, and even vision problems. Dry eye symptoms include a dry, gritty, or burning sensation in the eyes, redness, watery or teary eyes, and mucus that makes the eyes feel "glued shut" after sleeping. Many people also report the feeling of something in the eye or eyestrain. Itching and light sensitivity may also occur.
Dry eye results from a variety of causes, but aging is the single biggest factor. Other causes of dry eye disease include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Graves' disease, diabetes, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, contact lenses, and certain medications.
There are many treatments available for dry eye diseases such as artificial tears, drugs, and lifestyle changes. Recently, omega-3 fatty acids have been used to treat this condition but the clinical data on their effectiveness is deficient.
A clinical trial published in JAMA Ophthalmology has assessed the safety and effectiveness of marine omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in reducing the incidence of dry eye disease.
The clinical study involved 23,523 healthy adults aged 50 years or older. The participants were divided into two groups. One group received marine omega-3 fatty acids at 1g per day while the other group received a placebo. These patients were treated and followed for an average of 5.3 years after which the presence of dry eye disease was checked.
The results of the clinical trial showed that 232 out of 11,757 participants who took the marine omega-3 fatty acid supplement developed dry eye disease. On the other hand, 240 out of 11,766 participants developed dry eye disease in the placebo group. This indicates that the risk of development of dry eye disease was similar in both groups (2%). The researchers also found that the severity of dry eye disease in both groups was also similar.
These findings suggest that marine omega-3 fatty acid supplementation does not reduce the risk of the development of dry eye disease. It also does not reduce the severity of the symptoms in those patients who have acquired this condition.
In conclusion, this clinical study
provides evidence that marine omega-3 fatty acids confer no benefit in the prevention of dry eye disease in healthy individuals. This clinical trial emphasizes that omega-3 fatty acids should not be used in the prevention of this common and uncomfortable eye condition. It is also important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, as supplements can interact with medications and have potential side effects.