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Dry Eye

Link between gut health and dry eye shown in latest research

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Changes in microbiota, both on the ocular surface and in the gut, play a significant role in the development and progression of dry eye disease, according to a new study.

Researchers conducted a comprehensive review of literature published in the last 5 years, focusing on clinical and animal studies that explore the relationship between microbiota and dry eye disease. Using keywords such as “Dry eye,” “Microbiota,” and “Bacteria,” the team analyzed 14 relevant studies sourced from PUBMED.

The results of these studies indicate that bacterial components can trigger immune responses on the ocular surface through various receptors, leading to an imbalanced ocular microenvironment. Specifically, alterations in both ocular surface and gut microbiota were observed in dry eye cases. These changes include reduced microbial diversity, an increase in pro-inflammatory bacteria, and a decrease in bacteria that produce anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids.

The research also highlights promising interventions. Fecal microbiota transplantation and probiotic treatments were found to alleviate ocular surface inflammation in animal models of dry eye, suggesting potential new avenues for therapy.

Reference
Song J, Dong H, Wang T, et al. What is the impact of microbiota on dry eye: a literature review of the gut-eye axis. BMC Ophthalmol. 2024;24(1):262. doi: 10.1186/s12886-024-03526-2. PMID: 38898418; PMCID: PMC11186098.

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