Researchers have found that that oral omega-3s can significantly improve the signs and symptoms of dry eye after uncomplicated cataract surgery. They noted that its benefits might be related to decreased inflammation of the ocular surface rather than increased secretion of tears.

The study included 66 patients complaining of new-onset non-specific typical dry eye one month after uncomplicated cataract surgery. Two months after omega-3 supplementation, the researchers found patients’ Oxford scores as well as the ratio of increasing MMP-9 levels were lower in the omega-3 group than in the control group. OSDI and DEQ scores also improved in the omega-3 group.

The researchers concluded that dietary supplementation of omega-3s could be added to cataract surgery post-op management to improve postsurgical dry eye syndrome, as it showed the potential to control both the inflammation of the ocular surface and dry eye symptoms. They also recommend adding oral omega-3 supplements as an anti-inflammatory agent might be more helpful than artificial tears alone.

Park J, Yoo YS, Shin E, et al. Effects of the re-esterified triglyceride (rTG) form of omega-3 supplements on dry eye following cataract surgery. Br J Ophthalmol. September 11, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].