Fish Oil Supplements Ineffective Against Dry Eye

While there are health benefits to including fish oil and is omega-3 fatty acids in your regular diet, easing the effects of dry eye syndrome is unfortunately not one of them. A recent research study that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at hundreds of dry eye patients who volunteered to test doses of fish oil.

Keratoconjunctivitis, or dry eye, leaves patients with painful, itchy eyes that increase their fatigue levels, cause burning sensations, and overall problems with their vision that interfere with their daily lives. Dry Eye impacts millions to the tune of billions of dollars in lower productivity and unwanted medical costs, all because the patients’ eyes become dried out and won’t naturally lubricate. It is an especially common medical problem with older patients, and also with women. Most people who visit an optometrist other than specifically for glasses do so due to dry eye.

There are over the counter treatments, including eye drops and various offerings that claim to clean the eyes or the tear ducts. There are also prescription treatments available, but they carry high price tags and aren’t necessarily any more effective for some patients than off the shelf options.

Fish oil would have been a very affordable option for many, but it was not shown to have any relief advantage compared to a placebo treatment.

Key Points:

  • 1Fish oil is not likely to relieve dry eyes.
  • 2Dry eyes are becoming a big problem especially for women and the elderly.
  • 3Prescription remedies for dry eyes can be very costly so alot of patients try fish oil because it is cheaper.


People who took 3,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids each day for 12 months – the highest dose ever used in a trial of fish oil – experienced no more relief from their dry eye than a second group that received olive oil placebo capsules.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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