Should you invest in an air purifier for dry eyes? Does it even help?
Dry eyes are a condition that affects millions of people in the United States every year.
They are often chronic condition that is difficult to treat since they are rarely caused by a treatable illness.
Instead, dry eyes are usually caused by allergens, medications, some chronic illnesses, or even aging, which is completely unavoidable.
Many people are stuck dealing with dry eyes for years, only gaining temporary relief from eye drops and other over-the-counter medications.
Fortunately, with technological improvements, eye drops and medications are no longer the only options for dealing with dry eyes.
Using an air purifier can significantly improve dry eye symptoms by removing allergens and other potential irritants.
Air Purifier for Dry Eyes: What Causes Them?
Dry eyes are a common problem that plagues thousands of adults every year.
This problem occurs when the eyes are not producing enough tears, resulting in eyes that are not well lubricated and more prone to irritation.
Some of the most common causes of dry eyes include:
- Some diseases
- Some medications
- Use of contact lenses
Depending on the cause of your dry eyes, treatment options will vary.
If a medication or contact lenses cause your dry eyes, you can try switching to a new brand to see if the switch improves your symptoms.
However, for the most part, treatment of dry eyes is limited to managing the symptoms as best you can.
Usually, you can get over-the-counter eye drops that will help keep your eyes moist throughout the day when applied regularly.
Can an Air Purifier Help with Dry Eyes?
Depending on the cause of your dry eyes, an air purifier can help with your symptoms.
If your dry eyes are related to allergies, using an air purifier can help.
Air purifiers are designed to remove the most common allergens from the air, including pollen, pet dander, dust, and mold spores.
If your symptoms are related to any of these allergens, using an air purifier can significantly improve your symptoms by removing the irritants from the air.
5 Reasons to Invest in an Air Purifier for Dry Eyes
1. They Improve Air Quality
The number one reason you should invest in an air purifier for dry eyes is that it can help improve air quality.
As we have already established, poor air quality is one of the primary reasons people suffer from dry eyes.
When used correctly and with the appropriate filter, ideally a HEPA grade filter, they can filter over 99% of contaminants down to 0.3 microns in size out of the air.
This will help keep allergens and pollutants from circulating through the air and irritating your eyes.
2. They Can Improve Humidity Levels
Another easy way to improve your dry eye symptoms is by increasing the humidity in the air.
Although this won’t directly tackle the problem, it can make you much more comfortable and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Before, you used to have to purchase a separate humidifier and air purifier.
However, nowadays, many companies sell humidifiers and air purifier combos that simultaneously filter the air and make sure that it isn’t too dry.
3. Reduce the Need for Medication
A lubricating eye drop is one of the only treatment options for chronic dry eyes.
These eye drops will artificially simulate the effects of tears and oils on your eyes, keep them healthy, and reduce dry eye symptoms.
However, over time, these eye drops can become ineffective and can make your symptoms worse.
Some eye drops can cause irritation with long-term use, making your symptoms appear worse.
If you use an eye ointment, a thicker, more potent version of eye drops, they can cloud your vision which makes them difficult to use during the day.
By using an air purifier for dry eyes, you can reduce the need for these medications by getting rid of the particles in the air.
That way, you won’t have to use the medications as frequently, so when you need them, they’ll be as effective as possible.
4. Lower Costs
Over time, the costs of medications and treatments, such as light therapy, massages, and special contact lenses, can increase.
After several years of dealing with dry eyes, you may realize you’ve spent hundreds, if not a few thousand dollars looking for solutions.
Although an air purifier for dry eyes has a higher initial cost, it will save you money in the long run by reducing the need for other treatments.
One air purifier can last several years, whereas one bottle of medication may only last for a few months before a new one must be purchased.
The only ongoing cost associated with air purifiers is the replacement filter cartridges.
However, these will typically only cost you $40-100 per year, depending on the model, much less than many of the medications available for dry eyes.
5. Better Sleep
One of the worst things about suffering from dry eyes is that the symptoms seldom stop.
Even when sleeping, you may still suffer from the itchiness characteristic of dry eyes.
Using an air purifier while you are asleep will reduce the number of allergens and other potential irritants in the air.
That way, you can sleep soundly and wake up with clean air and eyes that are not itchy.
Better sleep is one of the most highly recommended home remedies for dry eyes. Using an air purifier is a great way to do just that.
If you are someone that suffers from allergies using an air purifier at night can help you to sleep better by reducing inflammation and irritation in your lungs.
What to Look for in an Air Purifier for Dry Eyes
When you are picking out an air purifier to help with your dry eye symptoms, there are a couple of features that you should look for.
- HEPA Filter
- Air Quality Monitoring
- Humidifier + Air Purifier Combo (Optional)
The most important feature to look for when picking out your air purifier for dry eyes is one with a HEPA filter.
HEPA filters are considered the best for filtering out allergens, including pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander from the air, all of which can worsen dry eye symptoms.
Studies have shown that HEPA filters remove 99.97% of debris from the air, at least 0.3 microns in size.
The most important thing to remember with HEPA filters is that they are not reusable and do need to be switched out regularly.
Most companies recommend changing your filter once yearly. Still, if you have severe allergies, it may be wise to change the filter more frequently.
Air Quality Monitoring
Another great feature to look for is air quality monitoring.
This technology will constantly check the air quality and communicate that via a display on the air purifier or by sending a message to your phone.
With this information, you can adjust the settings of your air purifier to maintain optimal air quality levels in your home.
Humidifier and Air Purifier Combo (Optional)
Although this feature is not strictly necessary, finding an air purifier that also functions as a humidifier can help improve your symptoms more than a regular air purifier can.
These combination devices have a small water tank at the bottom, gradually releasing moisture into the air.
This can help to prevent excess water from evaporating from your eyes which will help to keep them moister.
If you find an air purifier with this feature, try to look for one with an automatic mode.
That way, it will monitor the humidity for you and release moisture as needed to keep the air at optimal humidity levels.
FAQs on Air Purifier for Dry Eyes
Do humidifiers help with dry eyes at night?
One of the most frustrating things about dry eyes is waking up in the mornings to eyes that are already dry and irritated.
You can’t constantly wake up to put more drops in every couple of hours, so the typical eye drops aren’t a solution for nighttime dryness.
Fortunately, using a humidifier can help with dry eyes.
A humidifier will increase the overall humidity level in the air, making your tears evaporate more slowly.
This will allow you to wake up with less dry eyes, improving your symptoms throughout the day.
Can air conditioning make dry eye symptoms worse?
You’re likely to notice that when your HVAC system is on full blast in the summer or winter months, your dry eyes are significantly worse.
This is because both air conditioning and heating can greatly reduce the level of moisture in the air.
Although dry air isn’t the cause of dry eyes, it can make symptoms worse and more challenging to manage.
Suppose you need to use heating or air conditioning and suffer from dry eyes. In that case, it is recommended that you use a humidifier simultaneously.
This will help counteract the drying effects your HVAC system can have on the air and minimize your symptoms.
Why do screens make dry eyes worse?
Many dry eye sufferers observe that their symptoms worsen after a few hours of staring at a screen, but why?
When you stare at a screen, you tend to blink less. Every time you blink, your eyelids carry your tears and oils across the surface of your eyes.
But if not, you are not distributing your tears and oils to keep your eyes lubricated.
Taking breaks from your screen and intentionally blinking to keep your eyes moist is recommended to counteract this.
Can wearing glasses improve dry eyes?
In some cases, wearing glasses can improve dry eyes.
If your dry eyes result from contact lenses, taking breaks from them and wearing glasses can help keep your eyes from feeling dry.
And if you live in a windy or dry environment, wearing glasses can also help to improve dry eye symptoms.
They will keep the wind or dry air from reaching your eyes and help them retain more moisture.
Air Purifier for Dry Eyes – Conclusion
Dry eyes are a frustrating condition that often doesn’t respond well to the available treatments.
This condition can persist for years, and many of the treatment options available can only be used for a short period before they begin to cause negative side effects.
By using an air purifier for dry eyes, you can reduce some of the negative symptoms associated with dry eyes without any side effects of medications.
An air purifier can help you get rid of allergens and help you sleep better. It can even increase the moisture level in the air if you purchase an air purifier and humidifier combo.