by: Jason Kolodziejczyk, O.D.
The use of OMEGA III Fatty Acids or (fish oil) has been around for generations. Over the past couple decades we have begun to discover all the benefits of this amazing substance. These benefits were first discovered in the 1970's by researchers studying the Greenland Inuit Tribe, The Greenland Inuit people consumed large amounts of fat from fish, but displayed virtually no cardiovascular disease.
Today many short term studies have found Omega III's to be beneficial for decreasing triglycerides levels, slowing the growth of arterial plaques, relieving joint tenderness and stiffness, improving cognition in Alzheimer patients and improving skin and hair health. Last but not lease omega III's have been found to improve tear quality and hence eye comfort, as well as decreasing the progression of macular degeneration. 
This knowledge has caused the shelves of stores to be flooded with options. So which one does the patient choose because fish oils are not all the same. First of all the size of the pill whether it says 1000 or 1200 means nothing. The important number is on the ingredients label. You want to look at how much EPA and DHA is in each pill. These have been found to be the key to the benefits found in fish oil. If you add these two numbers together it should equal at least 1/2 of the total quantity of the pill. For example, if you buy a 1000mg fish oil capsule the EPA and DHA should add up to at 500mg., more is better. Basically you dont want more than half the pill to be fillers.
Secondly, omega III's are a fairly unstable substance that can degrade and then lose its benefits and possibly cause more harm than good, more research is needed in this are, The key to avoiding this is to purchase your fish oil from a reputable company, store it in the refrigerator and never keep fish oil past its expiration date.
When it comes to dry eye most studies are using around 1000mg of different combinations of DHA and EPA; all have found significant improvement in eye comfort 1 to 2 months for the majority of patients. I have found in my practice that having patients take 1400mg a day of EPA and DHA for 1-2 months and then dropping down to 700mg per day as a maintenance dose provides signficant relief of many eye comfort issues,I have seen significant improvement in patients tear quality after beginning this regimen. It is important to realize that not all eye comfort issues are related to poor tear quality and it is important to be evaluated by your eye doctor to determine if this therapy would work for you.
Additionally, it is important to note that omega III supplementation can have adverse side effects for some people so its important to discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits before taking any supplements, even one that has been found to help so many things like omega III's. 

Contact Eye Centers Of Northwest Ohio

2311 Hayes Avenue
Fremont, Ohio 43420
(419) 334-8121
622 Parkway Drive
Fostoria, Ohio 44830
(419) 435-3482
Fremont: (419) 334-8121 - Fostoria: (419) 435-3482