July 25, 2013
1 min read

Study shows nutritional formulation relieves dry eye symptoms in subgroup of women

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Daily dietary supplementation with a combination of omega fatty acids for 6 months is effective in improving ocular irritation symptoms and halting the progression of inflammation that characterizes moderate to severe dry eye in postmenopausal women, according to a study.

Recently published in Cornea, the study used HydroEye (ScienceBased Health), a combination of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and other nutrients.

In this multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 38 postmenopausal women with tear dysfunction in both eyes randomly received HydroEye or a placebo every day.

According to the study, patients were assessed at baseline and 4-, 12- and 24-week intervals using a variety of disease parameters including Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) symptom severity questionnaire, topographical indices (SAI and SRI), inflammatory biomarkers (HLA-DR and CD11c), Schirmer’s tear flow measurement, tear break-up time (TBUT) and conjunctival fluorescein and lissamine green staining.

The OSDI score improved with supplementation and was significantly lower than placebo after 24 weeks. The surface asymmetry index was significantly lower in supplement-treated subjects than placebo at 24 weeks (P = .005). Placebo treatment also significantly increased HLA-DR intensity by 36% and CD11c by 34% when compared with supplement treatment (P = .001, 24 weeks). Neither treatment had any effect on tear production, tear break-up time or corneal or conjunctival staining.

"Within 3 months, the group treated with HydroEye showed statistically significant improvements in irritation symptoms of dry eye and no progression of ocular surface inflammation or corneal irregularity. The placebo group's dry eye symptoms actually worsened over the 6-month testing period," Stephen C. Pflugfelder, MD, co-principal investigator, said in a ScienceBased Health press release.

The HydroEye clinical trial was supported through an unrestricted research grant from ScienceBased Health and the Virginia Eye Foundation, according to the release.