Informational Guide

Does a Humidifier Help With Dry Eyes?

If you suffer from dry eyes and irritation then help is often required. We explore if a humidifier helps with sore eyes & if buying one a best for you.

by Josh M

The eyes are the window to the soul. But sometimes, our eyes can experience dryness and irritation. It’s usually a reaction to our surroundings, and if the air is dry at home, it can cause our eyes to dry out.

Is there a solution to this problem? Humidifiers help control the humidity in our home, leaving the air less dry. So, read on as we answer; does a humidifier help with dry eyes?

Our tears are designed to protect our eyes from any infections or foreign objects invading. There are a few culprits to dry eyes when at home;

Winter/Summer Dryness

When the seasons change, naturally the dryness in the air changes. It’s more common in the winter, as the cold air dehydrates your eyes. The dry air of the summer also loses more moisture on the eyes. You may notice yourself becoming teary as the ducts compensate for the loss.

Home Air Conditioner

Any home air conditioner will automatically reduce the humidity at home as it heats or cools the air, and this will affect your eyes too. Drier air in the house will mean water is evaporated from your skin faster, which includes any tears around your eyelids.

Iris of Eye Looking

How Does Humidity Affect Your Eyes?

Humidity levels at home should remain between 30% – 60%, and unless there is a medical reason for your dry eyes, this should help retain the moisture in them. If the humidity in your home is low, you will start to notice the effects it has; itchy sensations, redness, or light sensitivity.

It’s not a pleasant experience, but there are solutions! A humidifier helps control the levels in your home and could help you combat your dry eyes.

Will A Humidifier Help With Dry Eyes?

Depending on the type of humidifier, they can help you in different ways. Deciding which is best for you can be difficult, and we have broken down some of the options to make the choice easier for you.

Cool Mist – Ultrasonic vs Evaporative

It’s recommended to use your humidifier on a cool mist setting, as warm mist can also create an irritation in your eyes. An ultrasonic humidifier is useful, but it does not purify the water, so minerals or particles can be released into the air. You can add purified water before use.

Evaporative humidifiers are the better choice, as the filter will collect any dust or minerals present and release refreshing, cool air. This may also be a more expensive choice, as you will need to replace the filter regularly to ensure smooth operation.

Humidifier for Good Sleep

Whole House Humidifiers

Installing a humidifier into your existing HVAC system is a great way to add humidity. Because of their size, they will adjust the humidity in your whole house, rather than one room.

This may be a better option if your home experiences dry air frequently, and a portable one won’t be able to cover it all. This is, however, an expensive addition to your existing system and will require maintenance alongside your HVAC system.

Air Washers

An air washer does two things; it purifies the air surrounding it while also adding to the humidity. They will remove any irritants, such as pollen, dust, or pet dander, while also increasing the moisture in the air.

The cool mist should help your eyes produce enough tears to clear your eyes. These will require a lot of care and maintenance to ensure they run efficiently and smoothly.

Other Tips To Combat Dry Eyes

Aside from the humidifier, there are several ways you can treat dry eyes should you encounter them.

  • Frequent Blinking
    Make a conscious effort to blink more often, and hold your eyes closed for a second to allow the moisture to spread evenly.
  • Don’t Blow Air Into Your Eyes
    Including an air conditioner, hairdryer, or fan. This will irritate or dry your eyes further.
  • Position Your Computer Low
    Placing your monitor below eye level will prevent strain and slow the evaporation of your tears. Take regular breaks from the screen to help with eye strain.
  • Wash Your Eyes
    Using a damp cloth or cotton pad, massage your eye while closed. This can encourage your tear ducts and also remove debris.
Woman Removing Eye Makeup

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What does dry eye look like?

Your eyes will be red, in the cornea or around the eye. They will feel like there’s sand in your eye and can make your vision blurry or sensitive to light.

Can you have just one dry eye?

Yes – though rare, one of your eyes can be dry, and this would mean one of your tear ducts is blocked. If this happens, it’s best to visit a doctor.

Do vaporizers help with dry eyes?

Vaporizers can help, but it is best not to leave them constantly running, as they will increase the humidity much faster than a humidifier.

Does dry eye go away naturally?

They can remoisturize themselves naturally, but sometimes there are underlying conditions or very dry air. If they don’t clear after trying some home remedies, seek the attention of a doctor.

Does drinking water help dry eyes?

Yes – dry eyes can also be a sign of dehydration, and water will replenish the loss in your tear ducts. Eye drops will also help.


Dry eyes can be irritating, but the solutions are simple! Buying a humidifier will help with the dry air in your home and will also remoisturize your eyes in the process.

The eyes are an important organ, and keeping them clear and moist is something we often don’t think about. With a humidifier, we can sit comfortably knowing our eyes are taken care of.

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.