Essential fatty acids have been of interest in the treatment of systemic and ocular diseases, and is most recently of interest in the area of dry eye disease.

Systemic and topical omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids have been used recently as an adjunctive treatment for patients with dry eye disease. They appear to have efficacy against the symptoms of dry eye that many patients experience. This symptom is postulated to be secondary to the anti-inflammatory effects that have been previously described. Although this effect is promising, more investigation is warranted in order to standardize indication for use, and composition and dosing for treatment.

The use of essential fatty acids as a nutritional supplement is a novel treatment for patients with dry eye syndrome.