Do Humidifiers Help With Dry Eyes?

This has been the weather year from hell.

Record blizzards. Record rainfall. And record heat all in one year.

It seems like we have been trapped in the house all year.

And the utility bill has shot to record highs too.

Can Low Humidity Cause Dry Eyes?

There’s a couple of times a year when dry eyes are more of a problem than usual.

The winter, especially this past year, can be so cold that you can’t get outside for much of anything.

The dry air outside and the heater going non-stop inside create a super dry environment where it feels like your eyeballs can’t make any tears.

Levoit HumidifierBut it’s not just the winter, summer can have you stuck in the house also, with the air conditioner running continuously, and ceiling fans blowing and drying the air throughout the house.

Refrigerated air conditioners like window ACS, and central heat and air units, dehumidify as they cool.

That means they are actually sucking the humidity out of the air, which can cause extra dry conditions.

Once again making the air so dry that your eyes get dry and burn.

Do humidifiers help with dry eyes?

Humidifiers are devices that add moisture into the air. Relative indoor humidity has more to do with having and maintaining good health than most people are aware of. And that includes eye health.

There are a couple of ways that a humidifier can help with dry eyes.

1.Reduce dust and allergies

One of the biggest problems with low humidity dry air is the amount of dust that can accumulate and float through the air.

Dust has an absorbing nature to it that tends to dry out your skin and in this case your eyes.

One benefit of using a humidifier when you have dry eyes is that humidity has a type of “mudding” effect on dust, which causes it to be too heavy to float.

And the particles that make up dust are not just dirt.

Dust can be comprised all types of particulates including allergens like pollen, the exoskeletons of insects, feces, dried skin, germs, bacteria, and honestly just about everything you can think of.

And without enough moisture in the air to wash and weigh down this nasty airborne recipe,

They are free to come in contact with your eyes, mouth, and skin.

Humidifiers not only emit moisture back into the air to balance out the relative humidity when the air is dry, they also have a washing effect on the air.

Which can be a big relief when you suffer from dry eyes.

humidifier for dry eyes2. Reduce the evaporation of tears

Dry eyes are not just symptomatic of dry air. There are many reasons a person or pet can have dry eyes.

I have a dog, for instance, that is a distemper survivor.

Distemper is a debilitating canine disease that leaves the dog with a nerve disorder that causes them to bob their head continually. And that’s if they survive at all.

Another one of the effects of distemper is that it causes a dog to lose their ability to create tears.

One of the things we do to help our dog deal with his condition besides using tear drops and washing his eyes with a wet rag, is to run a humidifier for him to help soothe his eyes.

Dryness in your eyes can be due to your tears evaporating too quickly.

And if you are already having a problem with producing tears or having them evaporate too quickly,

Best Humidity Level for Dry Eyes

Dry air caused by low humidity only makes the problem worse.

Maintaining a relative humidity between 40 and 60% is a must if you already have this type of condition.

Adding moisture back into the air can provide extra moisture that can help prevent the tears in your eyes from evaporating as quickly.

Humidifier Problems

But it wouldn’t be right to espouse the use of a humidifier as a remedy for dry eyes without going into a little detail on the problems a humidifier can cause if they are not maintained properly.

  The nature of the humidifier is that you have to add water to it for it to do its job.

The water that you use in a humidifier, especially when you’re talking about using it for helping with dry eye syndrome, is very important.

Unfortunately tap water can be full of all types of chemicals and debris that is not good for your eyes.

If you are considering a humidifier to help with your dry eyes, you should also consider using distilled water in the humidifier to keep anything that is foreign in tap water from getting into your eyeballs.

Another issue with humidifiers is that they must be cleaned often and never used when they have old standing water in them.

The issue is that bacteria and mold can begin to grow very quickly in the water of a humidifier. As well as all the connecting points that the water moves through. 
 Bacteria can emerge in as little as 48 hours in standing water.

  Running a humidifier with germy standing water means you will be emitting all the bacteria from the water into the air and essentially turning your humidifier into an allergy spouting machine.

Fortunately the humidifier world is beginning to catch up with the need for a humidifier that does not have the chance of getting contaminated nearly as easily as they were once known for.

Some companies like Pure Guardian have begun to put UV lamps pointing at the water in the humidifiers as a way to kill any type of bacteria that is growing in the basin.

Others include germ resistant plastics in their construction that keeps mold and bacteria from having anything to feed on inside of the basin of a humidifier.

Hopefully if this trend continues, the humidifier industry as a whole will follow suit and germ-free humidifiers will be the norm instead of the exception.

Low Humidity Symptoms – Benefits of a Humidifier

Low Humidity Symptoms

The effects of humidity and the lack thereof can have a lot of symptoms on your body that you may have not considered before.

Some of them are very logical and make complete sense straight away, while other symptoms may not be as obvious.

Low relative humidity is at the heart of many issues that you face every day.

But it is one of the last places most people look when they are looking for solutions for a variety of different problems.

Here’s a small list of low humidity symptoms:


static electricity low humidity1.Static electricity

You reach out for your wife’s hand or to give your daughter a hug and suddenly you get zapped. Static shock! And it seems like everything you touch is a live wire for the next few weeks.

Static electricity is an indication that the humidity is low.

Static electricity is essentially an imbalance of negative and positive ions in the air.

The shock you feel is the balancing of the ions jumping from one object to another.

But when the air is keeping a relative humidity of 40% or more, the moisture in the air absorbs the shock instead of you and your next victim.

If you notice you’re getting zapped with  static electricity around the house more than usual, you can be certain that your humidity is low.

A humidifier is a device that adds moisture back to the air which is beneficial for reducing the amount of static electrical shock around the house.

Check out the Levoit Warm and Cool mist Humidifier Here.

Humidifier Benefit # 1

Reduce Static Electricity

2. Dry Nose/ Bloody Nose

Another symptom of low humidity that is easier to identify than some others is having a dry nose.

When you blow your nose and it feels brittle and painful to do so, or worse, you have a baby that has a sore brittle nose, the relative humidity in your house has more than certainly dropped.

Nosebleeds go hand in hand with dried nasal passages. If you notice blood on the tissue that you have used to clear your nose or worse, you flat out have a crack on the inner walls of your nose and blood is beginning to drip,

You will more than likely find that the relative humidity in your home has dropped below the 40% mark.

A cool mist humidifier can add the depleted humidity back into your air and give you some cool relief inside of your nasal passages.

Humidifier Benefit # 2

Soothe and Hydrate the linings in your nose

3.Dry skin

Following the same logic as having a dry nose is the low humidity symptom of dried and cracking skin.

The moisture in a person’s skin is absorbed primarily through the humidity in the air.

There is a saying that “dry skin equals dehydrated skin”.

Winter is the time of year that is known for having drier air consistently.

It is also the time of the year when the air is continually dried out further but running the heater continually.

So it is not a coincidence that people experience drier than usual skin during this time of year.

But dry skin is not exclusive to colder seasons,

The climate indoors can suffer from low humidity in the summer as well.

  Tightly sealed rooms running air conditioners that are dehumidifying as they cool and having fans blowing can also have an effect on the relative humidity inside.

Humidifier Benefit # 3

Return Moisture to your skin

dust -low humidity4.Extra Dusty house

Have you noticed the surfaces in your home or office seem particularly dusty?

A dusty room is a symptom of low humidity.

When the airborne particles in a room don’t have enough moisture to weigh them down or give them that ” mud” like texture,

they are free to float further and longer and essentially make the room extra Dusty.

  Dustiness is also a major issue when dealing with dry skin.

Your skin is not the only thing absorbing the moisture from the air.

Dust and dry skin.

Dust is also absorbing the moisture, not only out of the air, but out of your skin as well.

You have probably been in a old room where dust has settled for years,

Or maybe you have been around a wood shop where there are mountains of dust everywhere and in the air

If you have then you probably noticed how dried out your skin felt afterwards.

It’s the same concept, being in a dusty room with low humidity.

The combination of dust and dry air will suck the moisture right out of your skin.

Humidifier Benefit #4

Reduce dust and dry skin caused by dust

5. Acne

Acne can be a symptom of low humidity. As surprising as that may sound, the effect that dry air has on your skin can facilitate the spread of acne.

Dried cracked skin can allow the bacteria it causes acne to burrow down deeper into the epidermis.

Dry skin can also flake and clog your pores even more.

And finally the imbalance of humidity can cause your skin overcompensate in the creation of oils.

If you are struggling with acne, dry air may be one of your issues. A humidifier can restore the balance of relative moisture back into your air and produce a positive result in your fight against acne.

Humidifier Benefit #5

Help inhibit the spread of Acne

6. Allergies / Asthma triggers

When the air is dry and there is little moisture to cling to the dust particles in the air.

The particulates such as pollen, insect remains, feces, and the other 1000 particles that make up dust, are free to float further through your home than if there was adequate moisture to weigh them down.

Allergies and asthma attacks can result from the lack of moisture that is responsible for reducing household allergens and triggers.

Elechomes SH8820 is a humidifier that does everything you need and more. It also has a carrying handle that puts it above the fray. Pretty sweet.


Humidifier Benefit #6

Reduce the travel of allergens in the air

7. Dry eyes

Dry eyes can be described as eyes that have dried out tears.

Hello there are many causes that can cause the tear ducts to produce less tears than they should,

The dry air caused by a lack of humidity can also cause the tears in your eyes to evaporate quickly and leave you with dry burning eyes.

Running a cool mist humidifier will add moisture back into the air and help create an environment where your eyes don’t dry out nearly as bad.

Humidifier Benefit #7

Sooth Dry Eyes 

8. Cold and flu viruses

One of the most fascinating symptoms of low humidity is the easy spread of colds, flus and viruses.

Not only does the lack of moisture in the air create conditions that are conducive to viruses and bacteria traveling further and staying airborne longer,

Low relative humidity has a drying effect on the linings of your airways.
The result of dry mucus linings is they are not able to ward off foreign substances as easily. 

And creates a type of docking effect where viruses and germs can remain longer causing an increased risk of infection.

The National Library of Medicine has stated that the majority of adverse health effects caused by relative humidity would be minimized by maintaining indoor levels between 40 and 60%.

If the flu and cold bug is going through your house, the chances are that your relative humidity is lower than the 40 to 60% optimal range.

The humidifier may help reduce the spread of cold and flu germs, and it can also have a cooling effect on your sinuses when you are struggling with congestion and a raw nose and throat brought on by being sick.

Humidifier Benefit #8

Help Prevent the Spread of Colds and Viruses 

Is a Humidifier Good for Allergies? How So?

Allergies are a topic most of us can identify with.

Allergy symptoms like Itchy burning eyes, sneezing, headaches are all annoyances that we can relate to.

And we can tell you when pollen season has arrived by the way we’re feeling.

But allergies and humidity are not something that we automatically make the connection between.

In fact, you may be surprised to find that the relative humidity, whether high or low, impacts whether or not you may be having allergy and respiratory symptoms.

Low humidity, which would be characterized by a percentage level of 40% and below,
Is the condition known as dry air.

Itchy flaking skin, static electricity, and raw bloody noses, are a regular result of dry air.

High humidity, which would be characterized as humidity 60% or more,
generally results in frizzy hair and a swampy feeling.

But both have elements that cause allergies to flare.

humidifier for allergies

Is a Humidifier Good for Allergies?

A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air. It’s that simple.

A humidifier is good for dry air allergies because when there’s a lack of moisture in the air, airborne particles like pollen and mold spores, have nothing to weigh them down and are able to travel further.

On the other hand, when a room has the ideal relative humidity of between 40 and 60 percent, dust particles are not able to float as readily, which makes them not inhaled as easily.

humidifier also helps moisturize the breathing airways and nasal passages,

bringing a great deal of relief when you are suffering from symptoms like congestion and dry nose, common to colds and allergies.

Humidifier for Allergies 

Our top 2 choices for humidifiers are Levoit and Pure Guardian

Levoit is the mother of all humidifiers.
It has all the features you could ask for in a humidifier and it can be used as either a cool mist or warm mist.


 Pure Guardian has just about all the same features as the Levoit but it has  something Levoit doesn’t.

Self cleaning UV and mold resistant plastic.

The newer generation of humidifiers goes the next step in providing remedies for keeping the humidifier from becoming contaminated with bacteria and mold.

This feature alone may very well outweigh the rest.

When is a humidifier not good for allergies?

  A humidifier has a built-in disadvantage in that it has to be cleaned often in order for it not to become a source of airborne allergens itself.

Let me explain a little further,

Because of the nature of the humidifier and the way it works, it requires filling and refilling with water.

Standing water can become contaminated with bacteria in as little as 48 to 72 hours.

Not only the water inside of the basin, but the mouth, the cap, and the filter all have water moving through them and have the capacity to get moldy and covered in bacteria very quickly.

Running a dirty humidifier will take all the germs in the humidifier water and spit them into the air.

Another time when a humidifier is not good for allergies is when the humidity is already high.

A high relative humidity can cause allergies to flare as well as low humidity.

High humidity causes dust mites populations to explode. The humidity in the air is actually what dust mites feed on. Which creates an ideal environment for them to flourish.

Also extra moisture in the air gives mold one of its main components to take root.
And where you have mold you have mold spores traveling through the air, ready to be inhaled.

So when the humidity is high, the last thing you want to do is add more moisture to the air with a humidifier.

A dehumidifier is a device that reduces the moisture in the air.

hygrometer- humidistatDehumidifier for Allergies

 If you have high humidity but your temperatures are not too high, then a dehumidifier may be the ideal machine you need to bring down the overall relative humidity in your home.

If you’re having high humidity combined with high temperatures then you probably already have a window air conditioner for a central heat and air unit that’s running.

Both of these types of air conditioners dehumidify as they cool. Many units allow for the dehumidifier function to run independently. It’s called dry mode on your settings.

Most allergies in relation to humidity can be avoided by keeping your relative humidity between 40 and 60%.

But to know what your relative humidity is, you have to have a way to measure it.

A hygrometer is a gauge that does just that. You can buy one pretty cheaply.

But they also come standard on a lot of humidifiers and dehumidifiers.

In fact if you are shopping for either a humidifier or dehumidifier, finding one that has a hygrometer / humidistat will help you keep up with your humidity level and help your appliance keep it at an optimal point.

Levoit comes with a hygrometer/ humidistat as a common feature.


Allergies and allergic symptoms have more to do with the humidity then you may have ever given it credit for.

Most people can tell you when pollen season has arrived because of how it makes them feel,

But most people do not make the connection between humidity and allergies.

Low humidity, known as dry air, allows allergens as well as germs and viruses to float and travel much further.

Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier weighs down airborne particles so that they settle to the surface faster and stay out of the ambient air that you breathe.

Cool mist from a humidifier also hydrates and gives dry and swollen nasal passages some much needed relief .

High humidity is also a problem for allergy sufferers because excessive moisture in the air breeds higher levels of dust mites. It also facilitates the growth of mold.

A dehumidifier is a better option for reducing moisture when temperatures are mild.
If the weather is hot and humid, refrigerated air conditioners also perform as dehumidifiers. Most even have a dry mode setting that allows you to run your AC as a dehumidifier.