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Oral omega-3 fatty acids treatment in computer vision syndrome related dry eye

Published:February 16, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clae.2015.01.007

      Highlights

      • Schirmer's test was abnormal in 33% symptomatic computer users at baseline.
      • Tear film break up time was abnormal in 55% symptomatic computer users at baseline.
      • Dry eye symptoms scores improve after dietary intervention with omega 3 fatty acids for 3 months.
      • Omega 3 fatty acids decrease tear evaporation rates.
      • Conjunctival goblet cell density increases after omega 3 fatty acid treatment.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To assess the efficacy of dietary consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (O3FAs) on dry eye symptoms, Schirmer test, tear film break up time (TBUT) and conjunctival impression cytology (CIC) in patients with computer vision syndrome.

      Setting and design

      Interventional, randomized, double blind, multi-centric study.

      Methods

      Four hundred and seventy eight symptomatic patients using computers for more than 3 h per day for minimum 1 year were randomized into two groups: 220 patients received two capsules of omega-3 fatty acids each containing 180 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 120 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily (O3FA group) and 236 patients received two capsules of a placebo containing olive oil daily for 3 months (placebo group). The primary outcome measure was improvement in dry eye symptoms and secondary outcome measures were improvement in Nelson grade and an increase in Schirmer and TBUT scores at 3 months.

      Results

      In the placebo group, before dietary intervention, the mean symptom score, Schirmer, TBUT and CIC scores were 7.5 ± 2, 19.9 ± 4.7 mm, 11.5 ± 2 s and 1 ± 0.9 respectively, and 3 months later were 6.8 ± 2.2, 20.5 ± 4.7 mm, 12 ± 2.2 s and 0.9 ± 0.9 respectively. In the O3FA group, these values were 8.0 ± 2.6, 20.1 ± 4.2 mm, 11.7 ± 1.6 s and 1.2 ± 0.8 before dietary intervention and 3.9 ± 2.2, 21.4 ± 4 mm, 15 ± 1.7 s, 0.5 ± 0.6 after 3 months of intervention, respectively.

      Conclusion

      This study demonstrates the beneficial effect of orally administered O3FAs in alleviating dry eye symptoms, decreasing tear evaporation rate and improving Nelson grade in patients suffering from computer vision syndrome related dry eye.

      Keywords

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