The Case for a More Holistic Approach to Dry Eye Disease: Is It Time to Move beyond Antibiotics?
Dry eye disease (DED) is one of the most frequent presentations to optometrists with over 16 million US adults (6.8% of adult population) diagnosed as having this disorder. The majority of associated marketed products offer relief from symptomatology but do not address aetiology. DED harbours many distinguishing features of a chronic inflammatory disorder. The recent explosion in human microbiome research has sparked interest in the ocular microbiome and its role in the preservation and extension of ocular surface health and in the contribution of the gut microbiome to chronic systemic inflammation and associated "Western life-style" diseases. With a significant lack of success for many patients using currently available DED treatments, in this era of the microbiome, we are interested in exploring potential novel therapies that aim to reconstitute healthy bacterial communities both locally and distally (in the gut) as a treatment for DED. Although this direction of investigation is in its infancy, burgeoning interest makes such a review timely. This paper considers a number of studies into the use functional foods and associated products to ameliorate dry eye.
Antibiotics (Basel). 2019 Jun 30;8(3). pii: E88. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics8030088.