Oral antioxidant therapy help marginal dry eye.




J Clin Nutr

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Dry eye refers to a syndrome resulting from many conditions that produce abnormalities of tear film flow and/or stability rather than denoting a specific disease. This condition can result from a number of circumstances. Tear production is also affected by total body hydration. Aqueous secretions such as tears and saliva may be compromised as the body conserves water to provide water to the cells of more vital organs. The human cornea has no nerve receptors for dryness or wetness and cannot interpret dry eye in this manner. However, it is thought to be perceived through stimulation of receptors for warmth, cold, and pain. There may also be some combination of receptors in the other parts of the eyes such as the eyelids that interact to produce the feeling of dryness. Symptoms of dry eye include eye discomfort, blurred vision, discharge, an awareness of the eyes, feeling of dirt or sand in the eyes, burning, and redness. Treatments for dry eye include artificial tears, and in more severe cases, punctal plugs. These plug are inserted into the eye and trap the tears on the eye.

Research has begun focusing on oral antioxidant therapy in the treatment of dry eye syndrome an example being a study conducted in Glasgow, UK, that explored the efficacy of antioxidants in marginal dry eye. Forty marginal dry eye sufferers were recruited. Assessments were recorded regarding the tear volume sufficiency, tear quality, status of the ocular surface, and the symptoms. Each individual was administered a course of treatment in random order, with the active treatment (antioxidants), placebo, and then no treatment. Each course was 1 month long and the results were compared to the previous recorded assessments. The results showed that the ocular surface and tear stability were significantly improved with active treatment. No improvement was shown for placebo or absence of treatment. Tear volume was not improved after any of the treatments. The authors concluded that the oral antioxidant therapy improved the health of the eye and the tear stability.1


1. Blades KJ, et al. Oral antioxidant therapy for marginal dry eye. Eur J Clin Nutr. Jul 2001;55(7):589-97.