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If you suffer from dry eyes, raising the humidity level in your home or office can be a great way to bring some moisture back. Dry air is a major cause of dry eyes. There are many other benefits to humidifiers too, so if you suffer from dry, it’s definitely a good idea to give one a try.
In this guide, we will first take a look at how humidifiers can help people who suffer from dry eyes. Next, we will take a look at which humidifiers are best suited for dry eyes. We also have some other tips that can help with dry eyes. Finally, we will offer some humidifier recommendations for people suffering from dry eyes. At the end we have included a general humidifier buying guide.
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Are Humidifiers Good for Dry Eyes
Yes. As you might expect, dry air is a big factor in causing dry eyes. A humidifier will add moisture to the air and raise the humidity levels in the room. According to WebMD, tears will evaporate more slowly when the humidity levels are higher which will prevent your eyes from drying out.
What To Look for In a Humidifier for Dry Eyes
Any type of humidifier will work to help your dry eyes, which means you can choose depending on your preferences. In general, cool mist humidifiers are best for a warmer climate and warm mist humidifiers are best for cooler climates. There are some other things to consider too though. We will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the different humidifiers further down the page.
What Else Helps Dry Eyes?
Humidifiers will certainly help with dry eyes, however, there are some other things that can help too:
- Warm compresses will help sooth the eyes by heating up the oils in the glands and making it flow more easily. A massaging motion will help draw the oils out. A cleansing action will decrease the number of bacteria breaking down the oil making the eye more lubricated.
- Artificial tears, lubricating eyedrops and gels are an over the counter remedy that’ll quickly apply moisture to the surface of the eye. They’re typically used around 4 times a day but can be used as often as needed. These are a great way to help soothe your eyes on the go too.
- Lubricating eye ointments are best used at night as they tend to be thick and can blur vision. They also last longer than eye drops and gels meaning using it as a mask at night would be the most effective.
- Tv screens, phones and computers are a well know source for eye problems – dry eyes being one of them. Taking breaks from looking at your screens should improve this. If you suffer from mild eye irritation caused by screens, blue lens glasses will help reduce eye strain and fatigue.
Best Humidifiers for Dry Eyes
Since any humidifier will be beneficial for dry eyes, the humidifiers below are our top picks for the best overall humidifiers. We have selected a cool mist evaporative humidifier, a warm mist humidifier, and an ultrasonic humidifier. Each type has it’s own advantages and disadvantages which we will walk you through to help you choose the best humidifier for you.
1. Honeywell HCM-350
For a warmer climate, our top pick for dry eyes is the Honeywell HCM-350. A full tank should last around 24 hours on low which is about average. This is a cool mist evaporative humidifier which means it uses a filter to stop minerals from the water being dispersed. This helps to prevent white dust making it a good choice for hard water. These filters do need replacing though, and the way evaporative humidifiers work mean they are noisier than the alternatives.
2. Vicks V745
If your room is on the cooler side, the Vicks V745 is a great option for dry eyes. A full tank will only last around 12 hours which is on the low side, but it is easy to fill. This humidifier won’t produce much white dust at all, but it will need cleaning regularly due to the mineral build up. The Vicks is quieter than the HoneyWell but noisier than the Levoit. It isn’t recommended to use a warm mist humidifier around children.
3. Levoit LV450CH
The final humidifier on our list is the Levoit LV450CH which is our recommendation for an ultrasonic humidifier for dry eyes. A full tank will last around 24 hours on low. This is the quietest humidifier on our list but will produce white dust unless you use distilled water. If you use tap water, we recommend either using demineralization cartridges or a distiller. The advantages is that their are no filters to replace, although it will still need cleaning regularly.
Humidifier Buyers Guide
If you are still not sure what to look for in a humidifier, the guide below goes over the different types of humidifiers and features to look out for in a humidifier.
Types of Humidifier
There are three main types of humidifier: cool mist evaporative, warm mist, and ultrasonic. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages which we will take a look at now.
Cool Mist Evaporative Humidifiers
Since the mist dispersed from these humidifier is cool, they are ideal for warmer climates because they can actually help to cool the room down a little. A cool mist evaporative humidifier uses a wick filter to draw out water. A fan blows over the wick which allows the air to absorb the water. There are two main advantages to evaporative humidifiers:
- They are self regulating. Since the air can only absorb so much water, once the humidity levels reach a certain point the effectiveness of the humidifier will decrease. This prevents over humidification.
- The water is filtered. This is particularly important if you use hard water in the humidifier. Hard water contains minerals which are emitted into the room with a filter-less humidifier. These minerals aren’t great for your lungs and can create white dust which gets all over your room. An evaporative filter will catch these minerals before they get into the air.
The downsides to cool mist evaporative humidifiers are that the filters need replacing every month or so, meaning there are ongoing costs and extra maintenance if you purchase one of these units. Also, these humidifiers are the noisiest.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
Warm mist humidifiers are great for cooler climates because they can add a little warmth to your room. They work by boiling the water until steam is released into the air. There are three main advantages to warm mist humidifiers:
- They don’t cause white dust. Just like cool mist evaporative humidifiers, warm mist humidifiers won’t disperse minerals from the water into the air. This is because when the water is boiled, only the water is released as steam and the minerals get left behind.
- No filters to replace. Unlike a cool mist evaporative humidifier, there are no filters to replace with a warm mist humidifier. This means there aren’t any ongoing costs to keep it running (other than electricity of course).
- They are quiet. Warm mist humidifiers aren’t as quiet as ultrasonic humidifiers, but they are still very quiet and much less noisy than cool mist evaporative humidifiers.
The downsides to warm mist humidifiers are that they are a little more expensive to run in terms of electricity, although you do need to consider you won’t need to regularly replace any filters. They also require more frequent cleaning due to the minerals left over from the boiling process.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are also known as filter-less humidifiers and are usually cool mist but can be warm mist too. Some models offer both warm and cool mist operation. An ultrasonic humidifier works by a ceramic diaphragm vibrating at an ultrasonic frequency creating tiny water droplets which exit the humidifier. There are two main advantages to ultrasonic humidifiers.
- They are ultra quiet. Since the diaphragm in the humidifier vibrates at ultrasonic sounds, we can’t hear them and offer almost silent operation.
- No filters to replace. Like warm mist humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers also don’t use filters so the running costs aer much cheaper than with cool mist evaporative humidifiers.
The main downside to ultrasonic humidifiers is that they create white dust. Since there isn’t a filter and the water isn’t boiled before being dispersed, all of the minerals in the water are dispersed into the air. This is particularly problematic if you are using tap water from a hard water area. If you purchase an ultrasonic humidifier, I would also recommend purchasing a distiller or demineralization cartridges cartridges.
Top Fill Humidifiers
Some humidifiers have a top fill design. This means they have a large opening on the top that you can pour water directly into without having to remove the tank. This is especially useful for seniors and people who have difficulties with mobility. They are generally easier to clean too because the wide opening allows you to easily get your hand inside to wipe it down.
If you don’t choose a top fill model, you should still consider how easy the humidifier is to clean and fill because those are the two things you will be doing with it regularly.
There are various features to look out for when deciding on a humidifier. Things like auto-shutoffs and built in humidistat can make operating your humidifier a little bit easier. Below I will run you through some of the common features you are likely to find.
- Built-in Hygrometer/Humidistat: Hyrgrometers work like a thermometer but they measure humidity levels instead of temperature. Humidistats are similar but work more like a thermostat as they have the ability to automatically turn the humidifier on or off depending on the humidity levels.
- Automatic Shutoff: Humidifiers with an automatic shutoff feature will turn themselves off when the water tank is empty. This is great for saving energy.
- Multiple Speed Settings: Some humidifiers can be set to multiple speed levels, usually two or three. This can be useful for when you are sleeping because the lower settings are usually much quieter than the highest setting. It also allows you to save energy by using the lower settings when you don’t require much humidity.
- Indicator Lights: Some humidifiers have lights to warn you when the water level is getting low, the filters need replacing, and the humidifier needs cleaning. Although these can be handy, some models go over the top with the lighting and they can be a bit annoying.
Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API