American Academy of Optometry

American Academy of Optometry

December 11, 2017
1 min read

Omega-3 eye drop improves ocular dryness symptoms

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Jennifer Fogt
Jennifer Swingle Fogt

CHICAGO – The use of an eye drop containing ALA omega-3 from flaxseed oil increased the lipid layer thickness and reduced symptoms of dryness 15 minutes after instillation, according to a study presented here at the American Academy of Optometry.

Jennifer Swingle Fogt, OD, FAAO, and colleagues at The Ohio State University College of Optometry evaluated 12 subjects with the university’s stroboscopic video color microscope before and after instillation of Refresh Optive Mega-3 (Allergan), according to the poster.

Lipid layer thickness (LLT) was measured at baseline and then 15 minutes after eye drop instillation. Before each measurement, subjects also completed a Current Symptoms Survey to rate their ocular burning/stinging, grittiness/foreign body sensation, dryness, blurry/fluctuating vision and overall ocular pain/discomfort, the researchers reported in the poster.

The investigators took four LLT measurements: inferior, central and superior zone as well as the overall field. They found that LLT increased for all measurements, and the increase was statistically significant for the overall field and the central third.

In addition, they reported that all ocular symptoms in the survey showed improvement, with the decrease in dryness statistically significant.

In light of these study results, Fogt told Primary Care Optometry News: “I recommend that patients use a lipid-containing eye drop to help with temporary relief of dry eye symptoms. While there are numerous treatments for dry eye, including prescription eye drops, meibomian gland expression and warm compresses, among others, patients want something that can fix their discomfort immediately.”

She told PCON that they have collected data up to 4 hours after drop instillation and plan to present more data about omega-3 containing eye drops at an upcoming research meeting. – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO


Swingle Fogt J, et al. Lipid layer thickness changes with an omega-3 formulated eye drop. Presented at: American Academy of Optometry; Chicago; Oct. 10-14, 2017.

Disclosures: Fogt reported she has conducted sponsored research for Alcon, Allergan, Shire and Valeant and is a consultant for Shire and Valeant. This study was sponsored by Allergan.