Dry Eye Treatment by Omega Fatty Acids in Combination with Artificial Tears

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Managing dry eye has become an important part of postoperative refractive surgery patient management, as dry eye symptoms are among the most frequent complaints of patients who have undergone excimer laser surgery.

The most common treatment for dry eye is the use of artificial tears, which provides only instant and incomplete symptom relief. Use of active supplementary compounds such as the omega fatty acids is a recent option for dry eye treatment. Omegas are essential fatty acids, which are known to be deficient in our daily diets.

Supplementation of omegas works in multiple ways to relieve and treat the symptoms of dry eye. It improves the quality of meibomian gland secretion and stimulates aqueous tear secretion by repairing tear secretion in dysfunctional lacrimal glands and decreasing lacrimal gland apoptosis. Omegas also suppress inflammation in blepharitis and meibomitis, as seen in inflammation of joints in rheumatoid arthritis and rosacea.

Intake of omegas, together with artificial tears, will potentially be a successful dry eye treatment for maximizing effectiveness of the existing system. Further clinical trials are indicated to define the advisability of omegas intake and quantify the recommended dosages for this compound’s more widespread use.

For more information:

* Noel A. Alpins, MD, can be reached at 7 Chesterville Road, Cheltenham, Victoria 3192 Australia; 61-3-9584-6122; fax: 61-3-9585-0995; e-mail: alpins@newvisionclinics.com.au.

* David R. Hardten, MD, can be reached at Minnesota Eye Consultants, 710 E. 24th St., Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55404, U.S.A.; 612-813-3600; fax: 612-813-3658; e-mail: drhardten@mneye.com.

* Thomas F. Neuhann, MD, can be reached at Helene-Weber-Allee 19, Munich 80637, Germany; 49-89-159-4040; fax: 49-89-159-40555; e-mail: prof@neuhann.de.


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