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April 21, 2022
Dry Eyes? Here Are 5 Ways Krill Oil Can Ease Your Symptoms
Dry eyes create a murky haze around everything you’re doing, resulting in a constant low-grade distraction.
Reading a book, laughing with friends, and even trying to fall asleep is harder when there’s constant soreness and itching in the back of your mind.
What happens when eye drops just don’t cut it?
Well, there’s another solution.
Something from deep in the ocean, on the bottom of the planet, off the chilly coast of Antarctica.
That something is Antarctic krill oil.
This ingredient is packed with so many nutrients that it almost seems magical…but there’s nothing magic about it. The science is right there.
Krill oil can help manage your dry eyes…here’s how.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, is a condition in which your eyes either don’t produce enough tears, or don’t maintain a consistent layer of tears coating your eyes.
This, of course, feels uncomfortable. It can cause itching, redness, and pain.
Dry eye syndrome can also make your eyes more susceptible to bacterial infections and corneal scratching.
There are lots of culprits for dry eye syndrome, including allergies, some LASIK eye surgery treatments, certain medications, spending long hours in front of computer screens, dry air, and aging.
Hormones regulate tear production, so stages of life that involve a hormone imbalance make you more prone to dry eye. Women going through menopause, along with women who are pregnant or on hormone replacement therapy, are more at risk than others (1).
Dry eyes driving you nuts? This is where krill oil comes in…
The Health Benefits of Krill Oil
Krill oil is a powerful extract derived from Antarctic krill. It’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial ingredients.
Krill oil has been linked to everything from lower cholesterol to improved hearing to lowered dementia risk, among other benefits (2).
An important thing to note is that krill oil is not the same as fish oil. While the two may seem similar on the surface, krill oil is absorbed by the body far better than fish oil and is often more effective at delivering health benefits. When you’re choosing between fish oil or krill oil, opt for krill oil to avoid missing out on nutrients (3).
How Krill Oil Can Help Your Dry Eyes
Thanks to its impactful ingredients, krill oil is becoming a go-to for managing dry eyes (4).
Here’s how they can help…
1. Improving Tear Production
Antarctic krill oil is rich in phospholipids, a type of fat that includes the mineral phosphorus. Phospholipids are found in every cell in the body—including your tears (5).
They’re a part of what’s called the lipid layer, which provides a smooth eye surface and wards off feelings of dryness (6).
When you boost your phospholipid intake with krill oil, they go to work in the body to help your eyes produce more tears. That means less dryness and less eye pain.
2. Reducing Inflammation Around the Eye
Omega-3 fatty acids provide energy to every corner of your body, keeping your heart, lungs, and other systems functioning smoothly. They’ve also been associated with reducing dry eye symptoms.
It’s no surprise that krill oil is packed with them.
There are three main types of omega-3s: Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Each one plays a different role in keeping your body healthy, and DHA and EPA are especially associated with eye health (7).
There are several different ways omega-3s are thought to help manage dry eye syndrome, and one of them is through reducing inflammation around your eyes (8).
Inflammation is a normal immune response used to protect the body from injury or invaders like infection or disease. But when inflammation becomes chronic, it can create all kinds of unwanted symptoms.
When it comes to your eyes, inflammation in the cornea, tear glands, or outer layers of the eye can prevent your body from making the tears that it needs. It can also cause your tears to have disproportionate amounts of the water, salts, and oils that they naturally contain.
All of this equates to—you guessed it—dry eyes. When more omega-3s are added to the picture, they can help soothe the inflammation that’s causing dry eye syndrome (9).
3. Improving Blood Flow to the Eyes
Krill oil contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin. It’s found in certain types of seafood, is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, and is the force behind salmon’s famous shade of pink.
In recent studies, astaxanthin has been associated with improved outcomes among several ocular diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and some types of macular degeneration (10).
Astaxanthin has been found to combat one of the most pernicious causes of dry eye: Reduced blood flow to the eye. This incredible ingredient can increase the blood flow your eyes have been missing, which offers a sigh of relief for itchiness and pain (11).
4. Slowing Your Tears from Evaporating
Like any other liquid, your tears evaporate. And if yours evaporate too quickly, you can find yourself with dry eye syndrome.
But there’s a solution for this, and once again, it involves those trusty omega-3s that make krill oil so nutrient-dense.
In a 2015 study focusing on people who’d acquired dry eye syndrome from computer vision, omega-3 fatty acids were found to ease their symptoms by slowing the rate of tear evaporation (12).
5. Enhancing Your Tear Gland Function
Another one of omega-3’s superpowers is the work it does to boost your eyes’ tear gland system.
Your eyes have tiny glands on the edge of the eyelid called meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing the oil film that helps keep your eyes moist. When those glands don’t function properly, your eyes may become less moisturized, resulting in discomfort.
When omega-3s come into play, they help improve the oil film and seemingly help your meibomian glands improve their function (13).
The Bottom Line
If you’re itching for relief from dry eye symptoms, there’s an easy solution: Make Antarctic krill oil part of your daily routine.
One capsule per day provides a boost of antioxidants and healthy fats that not only soothe your dry eyes, but can boost your health in more ways than one. Among the best krill oil benefits are a boost to your heart health, brain health, and joints (14, 15, 16). It’s a fast track to a healthier, more energized, and more vibrant you.
As a writer, editor, and wellness seeker, Claire has written for Self, Health, Prevention, CNN, Mic, Livestrong, and Greatist, just to name a few. When she's not writing, she specializes in traveling, getting lost in health-related research rabbit holes, and finding new ways to spoil her cat.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.