There may be yet another reason to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as a new study found that it might help fight the dry eye symptoms of ocular rosacea.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a “good for you” type of fat found in fish, nuts and seeds. Although not confirmed by definitive studies, they are theoretically believed to offer a multitude of potential health benefits – from lowering cholesterol levels to reducing inflammation and improving mental skills.
In a recent study conducted at Sharda University in India, 130 rosacea patients who exhibited dry eye symptoms were divided into two randomized groups. The groups were controlled for gender, age and level of eye dryness. One group took omega-3 fatty acid pills twice daily for six months, and the other group took a placebo (inactive) pill twice daily during the same period.
Both groups were then tested at regular intervals for eye dryness as well as meibomian gland dysfunction, tear production and tear film breakup time. While those taking the placebo tablets did not see any significant improvement, the people taking omega-3 fatty acid tablets saw significant reduction in dry eye symptoms over the course of the study. They experienced improved meibomian gland function after three months, and tear production and tear film breakup time improved after three and six months. However, the improvement ceased when the patients stopped taking omega-3 pills after the study ended.
The study concluded that rosacea patients with dry eye symptoms may experience significant improvement in symptoms following dietary intervention with omega-3 fatty acids for six months.
Bhargava, R, Chandra M., Bansal U., et al. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Rosacea Patients with Dry Eye Symptoms. Current Eye Research (2016): 1-7.