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Omega 3 EFA supplementation for dry eye
(Flaxseed oil, fish oil, etc.)
 
IN BRIEF

Flaxseed oil and/or fish oil supplements are often recommended for patients with dry eye. See below for some examples of products.

 
DISCUSSION

It is widely believed that omega 3 essential fatty acids, of which north Americans in particular are believed to have a very low dietary intake normally, may have benefits for keeping the tear production system healthy. For patients with chronic dry eye, it seems unlikely that an increase of Omega 3s alone can keep their condition under control, but for many patients, anecdotal evidence plus an increasing body of literature seem to indicate that for some patients this may be an important complementary treatment. Omega 3 EFAs are well known for their general health benefits, so many patients may consider this well worth trying.

Increased intake of Omega 3s from food is idea. For those who want a more convenient way to raise their intake, supplements are available in a variety of forms.

Doctors often recommend either flaxseed oil or fish oil, which can be taken in either softgel or liquid form (the latter can be added to salads, shakes etc).

 
productS

Here are some examples of omega 3 gelcaps marketed specifically for dry eye. If you know of more, please let us know.

Omega 3s need not be taken in the form of a proprietary product marketed to people with dry eyes. Many dry eye patients prefer to simply purchase high quality fish or flax oils in liquid or gelcap form. It can be difficult to get specific information on types and qualities of oils used whether in proprietary "dry eye" supplements or plain oils. Check out your local health food store and manufacturers' websites for more information.

Product Company Oils Approximate cost & quantity
BioTears Biosyntrx blackcurrant oil, cod liver oil, more $30 for 30-day supply
HydroEye (1) Science Based Health black current seed oil, cod liver oil $28 for 30-day supply
MoisturEyes Carlson fish oil, borage oil $20 for 30-day supply
Tears Again Hydrate Ocusoft flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil $20 for 30-day supply
TheraTears Nutrition Advanced Vision Research flaxseed oil and fish oil $14 for 30-day supply

 

(1) Note: Science Based Health announced the reformulation of HydroEye in November 2006. Click here for Hydroeye news report.

 

 
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