woman with brown dry eyes

Does A Humidifier Help With Dry Eyes?

Winter often brings with itself dry skin and dry eyes, the latter of which can be a miserable experience. Dry eyes are pretty common, and they are one of the major reasons behind irritation in the eyes.

Humidifiers provide extra moisture, which is very healthy for you. Keeping this in mind, the question arises that if humidifiers help with dry eyes or not.

This article will provide all the necessary information on how a humidifier can help with dry eyes—from types of humidifiers to when to get them. So, let’s keep reading this article to learn about humidifiers and their help for dry eyes.

Can A Humidifier Help with Dry Eyes?

Yes, humidifiers can help with dry eyes. When enough moisture is not present, dryness occurs in your eyes. Many treatment options will reduce your symptoms, and a humidifier is one of them.

Humidifiers are known to produce moisture. Not only are humidifiers good for dry skin but also for dry eyes. A humidifier will help increase the missing moisture for you.

A humidifier is highly recommended by an optometrist as a way to prevent dry eyes from happening in daily life. They help alleviate dryness in the eye and the symptoms that result from it by adding more moisture to the air. More water in the air helps reduce dryness in the eye significantly.

When to Get a Humidifier for Dry Eyes

These are some symptoms that may necessitate the use of a humidifier or even a visit to the doctor.

  • Blurry Vision or Fatigued Eyes
  • Red Eyes
  • Mucus (around Eyes)
  • Itchy and Watery Eyes
  • Heavy and Sore Eyes
  • Burning or Aching Sensation

Dry eye disease may also affect your eyelids. If your eyes feel absolutely worse when you wake up in the morning, it is advised to sleep with the humidifier on all night. As long as you maintain a safe distance between your humidifier and your bed, keeping it on all night should not make you experience dry eyes.

Since the main function of a humidifier is to add extra moisture to the existing air, it will provide moisture to your dry skin and cause the swelling and soreness to go down, giving you relief.

What Type of Humidifier is Best for Dry Eyes?

While many individuals who struggle with dry eyes try to tough it out, avoiding solutions might lead to unpleasant problems. You probably are thinking of buying a humidifier to solve this issue, but you cannot pick a random humidifier from the market.

There are several types of humidifiers in the market. What works best for dry eyes is cool-mist humidifiers, which can help alleviate dry eyes since they increase the humidity by releasing water droplets and maintaining room temperature. It helps to rest the eyes, especially in dry weather.

Cool mist humidifier uses a simple-to-maintain filter to rid the water of contaminants. They also bring down pollutants like dust and debris that may exacerbate dry eyes. Professionals also advise selecting a cool mist humidifier if you have kids or pets since there is no danger of them being burned.

You may get them in either evaporative or ultrasonic types. Most evaporative humidifiers that produce a cool mist do so by absorbing water via a wick filtration located within the device. While this happens, a fan will easily flow through the filter, allowing water to evaporate into the room. To create a thin mist, ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers employ a vibration plate that spins quickly. Due to their low noise levels and lack of a bubbling water tank, these cool mist humidifiers are a popular choice.

However, if you’re resting or asleep within a few feet of one of these humidifiers, the low hum it creates could be distracting. If you suffer from chronic dry eyes, an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier is your best bet for relieving the discomfort.

What to Consider Before Getting a Humidifier for Dry Eyes

You need to consider certain factors before getting a humidifier to help with your dry eyes.

Water Tank Size

With a large enough tank, filling the humidifier once a day will be enough, and a large tank size can save the hassle of checking the tank multiple times a day to see if the water has run out or not.


This covers a few relevant things, which range from durability and range of use. A durable build is desirable, and a humidifier that can work in a larger space for longer hours will be a great plus.

Ease of Use

While having the option to control the humidifier manually can be appealing, in most cases, in this regard, less is more and more automation is desirable to many.

Noise Emission 

A quiet humidifier is good if you need one that doesn’t make as much noise at work or at home. Fortunately, most modern humidifiers work in a quiet manner.

Ease of Placement

The impact of humidifiers is compounded if placed in proximity, such as near a desk or your bedside. You will need a humidifier that you can easily set up on your work desk.

Size of Humidifier

If the humidifier is required to serve many people, a bigger humidifier will be needed, while for a single individual, a smaller humidifier will be sufficient. You have to consider this because it is directly connected to the coverage and level of humidity in the room.

Pros and Cons of Using a Humidifier for Dry Eyes

Even though humidifiers are said to help with dry eyes, they have pros and cons.


The humidifier providing moisture in the air will be more comfortable for the eyes. It also improves the symptoms of dry eyes. Since there are options for portable humidifiers, you can actually use one when you are using a computer from a desk or watching TV sitting on a couch.

The best part about humidifiers is that they are non-toxic, and since they keep the air clean from bags of dust and debris, it is actually a very good solution for dry eyes.


Even though your humidifier will help reduce irritation from dry eyes, it will not completely resolve the issue. Using tap water is also a no-no. It is advised to use distilled water to avoid bacteria and other germs you get from tap water.

Sometimes, too much moisture in the air can cause molds, so be sure not to let your humidifier over-run. Being inconsistent with using a humidifier is also bad for dry eyes, so make sure to be consistent.

Does increased moisture in the air relieve dry eye symptoms?

Moisture in the air helps prevent the dry surface of the eye. Rather than dry air drying off the eye, a humidifier may help maintain the eye’s water content. But increased moisture, in this context, might do the opposite.

The optimal relative humidity for human comfort is 45 percent. Some individuals feel that a much higher than normal indoor humidity level resolves dry eyes. So they endure sitting in front of a computer screen, tablets, and smartphones taking frequent breaks for extended periods. But too much humidity in the home may cause eye irritation and allergen.

Some individuals attempt to boost the indoor humidity level to alleviate dry eyes. You can use a humidifier; users shouldn’t set it to its maximum setting since doing so might cause allergic responses, which irritate eyes.

Is high humidity bad for dry eyes?

Yes, high humidity is bad for dry eyes. High humidity levels cause an increment in microbial growth, causing dry eyes to get worse. This is one reason humidifiers should not run for too long. If it runs for a subsequent amount of time, it will not worsen the dry eye syndrome but provide relief.

Can Low Humidity Cause Dry Eyes?

Yes, low humidity can cause dry eyes. This is mainly because tears dry up in low humidity, causing moisture to run out in your eyes. In dry climates, fewer tears are made, especially during the warmer months, and tears evaporate faster. This causes your eyes to dry up because they are not lubricated enough.

This is why humidifiers are good for dry eyes because they provide added moisture and maintain good eye health.

Should I Diffuse Essential Oils for Dry Eyes?

Humidifiers that come with dedicated oil tanks may be used with essential oils. Humidifier water tanks aren’t designed to take essential oils, so you shouldn’t put them there. You can also find a variety of humidifiers that double as diffusers, into which you may place essential oils. You can receive clean air and a pleasant scent with a humidifier that doubles as an oil diffuser, so it’s a win-win. Also, if you have young children or dogs in the house and they face eye problems in the morning or dry eyes at night, it’s best to use a humidifier rather than essential oils.

Essential oils are good for diffusing when air is dry. Most of these essential oils relieve your eyes and be beneficial for dry eyes. Don’t uveruse the essential oils and only use the amounts suggested by your humidifier manufacturer.

Dry Eyes Prevention Tips

  • The most important tip for the prevention of dry eyes is to avoid air from blowing into your eyes
  • Start by adding moisture to the air by using a humidifier
  • When outside, wear protective eyewear
  • When using the computer, or looking at any screen, take long breaks
  • Make sure you avoid really highly humid places if you already have sensitive eyes
  • Avoid smoke
  • Use eye drops (or artificial tears) to constantly moisturize your eyes if you are always in an air-conditioned environment. These are used to moisten the surface of your eye and help dry eyes.
  • Rest your eyes
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements help
  • Warm compressing the eyes will cause prevention of dry eyes

Final Thoughts

Low humidity, very high humidity, a lack of moisture, and a lot of factors can cause dry eyes. One thing that will always provide relief to dry eyes is your humidifier. Whether a cool mist humidifier or a warm mist humidifier, it will always comfort your eyes.

You can also use a portable humidifier to carry with you when you are working on your computer or watching TV. Your humidifier will be your best friend when you have dry eyes. Even though it may not be a magical medicine for your eye care, it will be by your side to reduce your dry eye symptoms.

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