Dry eyes are an extremely common condition with nearly 5 million Americans suffering from dry eye symptoms. The majority of cases are of individuals over the age of 50 and ⅓ of sufferers are female.
The symptoms of dry eyes are extremely frustrating and make even the most mundane task exhausting. The most common symptoms of dry eyes are: stinging or burning, redness, sensitivity to light and blurry vision.
If you regularly experience any of these symptoms, first schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist and discuss the options for treatment. If approved by your doctor, the use of a humidifier can reduce the severity of dry eye symptoms and can improve your overall comfort.
How Does a Humidifier Help Dry Eyes?
The surface of your eye, also known as your cornea, is covered by a layer of tear film. The tear film is composed of water, fatty oil and mucus. When properly functioning, the tear film keeps your eyes lubricated and clear.
Dry eyes occur when the tear film is improperly functioning, which causes the eyes to produce insufficient water and fatty oil to keep the eye lubricated. Extended dryness of the eyes can lead to corneal inflammation and potential long-term damage.
Using a humidifier can help to soothe your dry eyes when used regularly. A humidifier for dry eyes expels water vapor into the air, increasing the moisture level of the environment and increasing humidity levels. This additional moisture helps to slow the evaporation of tears resulting in more lubricated corneas and less discomfort.
Which Type of Humidifier is Best?
The National Eye Institute attributes the development of non-medical dry eye symptoms to severely windy, smoky or dry environments. Keeping firm control over the humidity levels of your home or office environment can mitigate the symptoms of dry eyes and ease any discomfort.
When looking for a humidifier that can effectively treat dry eyes, it is best to select a model with some white noise emission and longer operation times. The combination of these features will make habitual use of your humidifier more enjoyable.
Medium to Large
Since the humidity level required for optimal health is 40-60%, you will need a device capable of raising the humidity levels of your space effectively. It is recommended to have a humidifier running in any room of your home where you are spending significant amount of time. Think bedroom, home office, and living space.
Longer Operation Time
Treating your dry eyes with a humidifier will require longer usage times. If you choose a less efficient model, you will have to refill the tank multiple times throughout the day, which is extremely inconvenient.
A humidifier with a longer operation time (at least 24 hours) increases the likelihood that your home, office or other living space will reach the recommended humidity level to achieve the accompanying health perks.
Additional Humidifier Health Benefits
Regular use of a humidifier extends a myriad of benefits for your overall health from head-to-toe.
The added moisture in the air can improve congestion during the winter months and reduce the severity of symptoms from the common cold including scratchy throat and dry coughing.
In addition, a healthy level of humidity in your home can improve Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) helping your skin to retain moisture instead of losing it to the atmosphere. Improved TEWL will keep your skin moisturized and prevent chapped lips, dry patches and may reduce the frequency of eczema flare ups if you suffer from this skin condition.
Humidifiers are a great tool to keep in your home for use in the winter months or in geographical locations that tend to experience dry heat or strong winds.