A Review of Topical and Systemic Vitamin Supplementation in Ocular Surface Diseases.
In the homeostasis of the ocular surface, vitamins play a critical role in regulating inflammatory responses and promoting cell differentiation, development and correct function. Systemic vitamin supplementation has been available for many decades; in recent years, thanks to pharmacological advancements, topical vitamin delivery has also become available in an attempt to better treat ocular surface disease (OSD) and dry eye disease (DED). In this paper, we reviewed the current evidence on the role of vitamin supplementation in OSD and DED. We originally searched the PubMed archive, inspected the references and restricted the search to pertinent papers. The body of evidence was evaluated using the amelioration of both signs and symptoms as the outcome, when available. We found that in patients with vitamin deficiency, systemic supplementation of Vitamin A is effective in treating OSD, reducing both DED signs and symptoms. Additionally, systemic supplementation of vitamin D is useful in reducing DED symptoms and increasing tear volume. Vitamin A is also effective in reducing DED signs and symptoms when administered locally. The efficacy of supplementation with other vitamins is still not fully proven. In conclusion, the inclusion of vitamins into the treatment strategies for OSD and DED allows for better treatment customization and better outcomes in these patients.