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May 3, 2022
Are Your Ears Ringing? Taking Krill Oil for Hearing Can Ease Tinnitus Symptoms
More often than not, it arrives without warning.
One night, the room gets still as you’re reading a book or drifting to bed…and you notice that you hear something when you should be hearing nothing.
You’re not imagining that buzzing, ringing, or whooshing in your ears. It’s a real condition, and one that strikes millions each year.
Tinnitus can rob you of your focus, your ability to hear other sounds around you, and quite simply, your peace.
But there’s something you can do about it. There’s an ingredient that can help…
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a term for ringing in your ears—at least, that’s how most people think of tinnitus. While ringing is the most well-known form of tinnitus, you may also hear buzzing, whistling, hissing, or a sound that reminds you of running water (1).
When you have tinnitus, you hear these sounds despite there being no outside source of noise. Occasionally, people experience a form of tinnitus in which other people can also hear the sounds around your ears due to abnormal blood vessels—this is called objective tinnitus, and it’s rare. Most people have what’s called subjective tinnitus, which means that only you can hear the sounds.
Around 50 to 60 million people in the US suffer from tinnitus (2).
Tinnitus can surface in all stages of life, but it’s especially common in people over 55, as it often surfaces when aging (1).
You may experience your tinnitus in just one ear, or both (1).
It’s rarely the sign of a serious health issue, and it’s rarely dangerous. But of course, it can be incredibly frustrating and can interfere with what you hear around you.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus has a wide range of potential causes, which you might not recognize when it first surfaces (3).
You may also experience a temporary bout of tinnitus that lasts just a few minutes or hours after going to a loud concert, listening to loud music with headphones, or being near a construction site or other noisy environment.
Here are some of the most common causes of longer-lasting tinnitus…
- Age-induced hearing loss
- Regular exposure to loud noises, such as a job in a noisy environment or a frequent concert hobby
- Damage to your middle or inner ear
- Damage to your eardrums
- Tumors in the ear
- Large and prolonged doses of certain medications, like aspirin, certain antibiotics, and some cancer-fighting drugs
- Excessive ear wax
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Injuries in your head and neck
- Inner ear health conditions
Is Tinnitus Reversible?
While there isn’t a universal cure for tinnitus, some people find relief by treating any medical issues that could be causing their symptoms. Because some medications can cause tinnitus as a side effect, your doctor may help you ease off anything in your medicine routine that could be causing it (4).
If there’s not a direct medical condition linked to your tinnitus, your doctor may try other options, depending on your specific case. Some people find a reduction in tinnitus when they take antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, but this isn’t guaranteed, and sometimes the side effects of these medications are not worth curbing the tinnitus. For some people, hearing aids can help amplify the regular everyday sounds that your tinnitus makes it harder for you to hear.
Not all tinnitus has a cure, but for most people, it will not last forever. Sometimes it even goes away spontaneously.
How to Ease Tinnitus Symptoms Naturally
There are a few at-home methods people try when tackling tinnitus, like noise-suppressing machines. Because stress can make tinnitus worse (and some researchers believe stress may even be a root cause of some cases of tinnitus), some people set out to reduce the stressors in their lives (5, 6).
Others try supplements that may reduce their symptoms. And one of the most promising supplements for reducing tinnitus is Antarctic krill oil. This extract—derived from small, shrimp-like crustaceans in the deep waters of the Antarctic Ocean—is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids (7, 8).
In fact, omega-3s are associated with an overall lower risk of age-related hearing loss in women (10).
The Health Benefits of Krill Oil for Tinnitus
New research has discovered links between tinnitus and brain inflammation. Studies so far indicate that the part of your brain responsible for sound processing may trigger some cases of tinnitus. This is because noise-induced hearing loss can cause your brain’s auditory pathway to become inflamed (11).
These findings have also raised questions about how much of a role inflammatory conditions play in tinnitus (12).
Scientists are optimistic that this could mean that treating inflammation is key to curbing some cases of tinnitus…which brings us to krill oil. Krill oil’s omega-3 content makes it an excellent anti-inflammatory. Which means you can reduce your inflammation, and in turn, you may also reduce your tinnitus symptoms (13).
Dose of Krill Oil for Tinnitus
The anti-inflammatory capabilities of krill oil make it a perfect option for treating inflammation and boosting omega-3 intake. And with consistent daily use, there’s potential to reduce both tinnitus symptoms and your risk of hearing loss as you age (14).
The best krill oil dose to start with is 500mg per day, though some people may take even more if their doctor gives the go-ahead. The important thing is to make sure your daily dose of krill is a regular part of your routine—and hopefully, a daily step toward managing your tinnitus (15, 16).
The Bottom Line
Tinnitus can feel like a story of powerlessness. It arrives out of nowhere and leaves you wondering when or if it will ever go away.
But you can take your power back.
You can take your experience with tinnitus into your own hands. Make omega-3s a daily part of your life by loading up on fresh, wild-caught seafood or taking a krill oil supplement like NativePath Antarctic Krill Oil. Each day, you’ll be fueling your body with healthy anti-inflammatories that can boost your overall health—and bring you closer to a day where the buzzing isn’t the first thing you hear anymore.
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.