Wearing a mask is a way of life for many Australians but, for those who wear spectacles, a new problem has emerged out of Covid 19 – glasses fogging up.
When the New York Times asked readers for their questions about Covid 19, one of the most common was, “how do I solve the fogging problem”?
Fogging of the glasses has always been a problem for health care workers, one which now that it is in the public domain is causing many people a great deal of consternation.
The Fogging Problem
Fogging occurs when the warm air that we breathe out comes into contact with the cool surface of our spectacle lens and, as a result, forms condensation.
Whatever mask you wear, whether it is a cloth, homemade or a surgical mask, your glasses will more often than not, fog up. It is so annoying that many people give up wearing a mask altogether.
Some pundits suggest to just ‘breathe through your nose, not your mouth’. This will work for a short time but eventually your natural inclination is to go back to breathing through your mouth.
There are better ways to stop your glasses from fogging up.
Solving the Problem
If you do a Google search, you will find a plethora of articles and videos sharing tips and problem-solving hacks on how to demist your lenses. We tried many and came up with our own list of the most effective methods for keeping your glasses fog-free.
Mould the Wire
Press the wire at the top of the mask tight against the bridge of your nose and the top of your cheeks. You want to make sure that no warm air from your breath can escape. Then, place your glasses firmly over the top of your mask. The weight of your glasses against your mask will create a seal to stop the warm air from escaping.
Please note to always wash your hands with soap and water first before touching your mask.
Soap and Water
A time proven method used by surgeons who wear surgical masks all the time is to wash your glasses with soap and water gently and make sure not to leave any soap suds on your lens, shake off the excess water and let them air dry. The soap will then leave behind a thin film that acts as a fog barrier to prevent the lenses from misting up.
Fold a tissue horizontally a few times so that it is about one cm wide. Place it inside the top of your mask and against your nose bridge. This will help absorb the moisture from your breath and stop it from fogging your glasses. The tissue may shift, so if it does, staple it to the mask to keep it in place.
For those wearing a mask for long periods, place a strip of non-irritating white athletic or surgical tape across the top of the mask. The tape must be hypoallergenic and easy to remove. The tape will create a tight seal and also stops your mask from slipping down.
If there is no surgical tape on hand, try using a couple of band-aids instead. They will work nearly as well as surgical tape.
Tie Your Mask
To create a better seal, tighten your mask at the side by double looping the mask ties then hooking them over your ears. Your breath will then pass through the mask and not out the sides or the top.
An anti-fog spray or wipes is an easy to use product made to disperse the fog droplets from your lenses. Spray on both sides of the lens after cleaning.
Take note that you may need to do this repeatedly as the fogging could return.
Lenses that are made with an anti-fog coating are designed primarily to provide anti-fog protection. Wearing anti fog glasses will ensure clear vision. They are especially useful in circumstances where glasses tend to fog up such as cold weather, dusty environments, playing sports, cooking, and wearing a face mask.
A complete solution to lenses fogging is to wear contact lenses. They avoid the issue of fogging all together. Wash your hands thoroughly before putting in your contact lenses.
It is a bit of trial and error. Try our tips and you will find a solution that works for you.
To find out more about anti-fog lenses and products or contact lenses contact your local Eyecare Plus Optometrists.