Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not daily supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids is effective in reducing the severity of dry eyes in adult patients with dry eyes syndrome (DES).

Methods: Three randomized controlled trials are included in this review that were published in 2013, 2016 and 2017.

Data sources: The author of this paper performed the research as well as selected the articles for review by conducting searches on PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library.

Outcomes: The outcome measured is the severity of dry eyes symptoms measured subjectively by each patient through a 12-item questionnaire after a minimum of one month and maximum 12 weeks of treatment. The Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), (Allergan, Inc.), scale was used to measure subjective outcomes in all studies. An average score for each group was calculated as well as the change in scores between the first and the last day of studies.1,2,3

Results: In Deinema et al (2017), for patients taking krill oil supplementation, dry eye symptoms improved 18.6+/-2.4 points (mean change in baseline score) over three months per OSDI scores.1 In Epitropoulo et al (2016), in the treatment group symptoms improved 17.0+/-2.6 points over three months.2 In Kangari et al (2013), symptoms improved 9.4+/-0.6 points over one month patients receiving treatment while the placebo group reported a 1.2+/-0.3 point worsening of symptoms.3 All data described above was statistically significant (p < 0.005).

Conclusions: It can be concluded that daily omega-3 essential fatty acid supplementation is effective for reducing the severity of dry eye syndrome in adults, especially those with mildmoderate DES after 90 days.