5 ways to prevent foggy glasses while wearing a face mask

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  • May 28, 2020
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5 ways to prevent foggy glasses while wearing a face mask

Here’s why our glasses fog up, and how you can wear your face mask so that it won’t happen.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the online resources provided by the CDC and your local public health department. You can work to better protect yourself from COVID-19 by washing your hands, avoiding contact with sick individuals and sanitizing your home, among other actions.In order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that all Americans wear face coverings in public. But if you wear glasses, you may have noticed that covering your face is causing your lenses to fog up. Our partners at Good Housekeeping got to the bottom of why that happens and how you can wear your face mask so that it won’t happen.Why do my glasses fog when I wear a face mask?The science behind why our glasses fog when we wear a mask is fairly simple. As we wear our masks, warm breath escapes from the top of the mask and lands on the cooler lenses of our glasses. When that happens, it creates condensation, or fog. You might have noticed a similar effect when wearing glasses with a scarf in the winter, or when opening a hot oven door.So how do I prevent my glasses from fogging when I wear a mask?The good news is that this problem is not new, and doctors and surgeons have found several ways to prevent foggy glasses. We’ve consulted Dr. Jason Brinton, a leading St. Louis-based ophthalmologist and founder of Brinton Vision, on the best ways to keep your glasses clear.Improve the fit of your mask. Many medical masks feature a bendable metal strip that allows the wearer to mold the mask to their nose and cheeks. But you don’t need a surgical mask to achieve a good fit. If you’re making a homemade mask, Dr. Brinton recommends sewing a pipe cleaner or twist tie into the top of your mask. That way, you’ll be able to fit the mask to your face more effectively. You’ll also want to adjust your mask’s straps or ear loops. When the mask fits properly, most of your breath should go through it, not out the top or sides.Tape your mask. Dr. Brinton says most doctors use tape to prevent foggy glasses while they work. To DIY it, tape your mask across the bridge of your nose and across your cheeks. You can use most any type of tape, be it adhesive, medical or athletic, just make sure you avoid duct tape. Test the tape on a different part of your body to ensure it doesn’t irritate your skin.Pull your mask up. A simple way to decrease the amount of fog on your specs is to pull your mask higher on your face and use the weight of your glasses on top of the mask to block the flow of air. “Whether or not this works will depend on the shape and makeup of the glasses,” says Dr. Brinton. He says this method is most effective with large, thick frames.Use a commercial anti-fog wipe or spray. “These can be very effective,” says Dr. Brinton. “They can also be very expensive.” Right now, a box of Foggies Anti-Fog Towelettes on Amazon costs nearly $50 for a pack of 48. Keep in mind that anti-fog solutions may not work as well on glasses with certain coatings, such as anti-glare, anti-fingerprint or anti-smudge, so it’s important to read the fine print on each product.Will putting soap or shaving cream on my glasses prevent them from fogging?As more people struggle with foggy glasses, several home remedies have made the rounds, including treating glasses with soapy water, shaving cream, baby shampoo or toothpaste. These solutions may have some merit. A 2011 paper published by one British surgeon showed that washing glasses with soapy water and letting them air dry can help prevent fogginess. That’s because the soap acts as a surface active agent, or surfactant, and leaves behind a thin film that helps prevents fog.”There isn’t any really good data and there aren’t any really good studies on these techniques,” says Dr. Brinton, “but any substance that will leave a surfactant on there that will impede the condensation can be useful.”

In order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that all Americans wear face coverings in public. But if you wear glasses, you may have noticed that covering your face is causing your lenses to fog up. Our partners at Good Housekeeping got to the bottom of why that happens and how you can wear your face mask so that it won’t happen.

Why do my glasses fog when I wear a face mask?

The science behind why our glasses fog when we wear a mask is fairly simple. As we wear our masks, warm breath escapes from the top of the mask and lands on the cooler lenses of our glasses. When that happens, it creates condensation, or fog. You might have noticed a similar effect when wearing glasses with a scarf in the winter, or when opening a hot oven door.

So how do I prevent my glasses from fogging when I wear a mask?

The good news is that this problem is not new, and doctors and surgeons have found several ways to prevent foggy glasses. Good Housekeeping consulted Dr. Jason Brinton, a leading St. Louis-based ophthalmologist and founder of Brinton Vision, on the best ways to keep your glasses clear. Check them out below.

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1

Improve the fit of your mask with pipe cleaners

amazon.com

$12.97

Many medical masks feature a bendable metal strip that allows the wearer to mold the mask to their nose and cheeks. But you don’t need a surgical mask to achieve a good fit. If you’re making a homemade mask, Dr. Brinton recommends sewing a pipe cleaner or twist tie into the top of your mask. That way, you’ll be able to fit the mask to your face more effectively. You’ll also want to adjust your mask’s straps or ear loops. When the mask fits properly, most of your breath should go through it, not out the top or sides.

2

Use a commercial anti-fog cloth

amazon.com

$13.00

A month ago, Foggies Anti-Fog Towelettes cost nearly $50 for a pack of 48 on Amazon, but costs have since stabilized. Try this reusable anti-fog cloth on your glasses, or spring for a pack of Pyramex Lens Cleaning Towelettes.

3

Tape your mask into place

amazon.com

$9.19

$6.99

Dr. Brinton says most doctors use tape to prevent foggy glasses while they work. To DIY it, tape your mask across the bridge of your nose and across your cheeks. You can use most any type of tape, be it adhesive, medical or athletic, just make sure you avoid duct tape. Test the tape on a different part of your body to ensure it doesn’t irritate your skin.

Advertisement

4

Use larger glasses to keep your mask in place

amazon.com

$204.00

A simple way to decrease the amount of fog on your specs is to pull your mask higher on your face and use the weight of your glasses on top of the mask to block the flow of air. “Whether or not this works will depend on the shape and makeup of the glasses,” says Dr. Brinton. He says this method is most effective with large, thick frames.

5

Use a commercial anti-fog spray

amazon.com

$17.55

 “These can be very effective,” says Dr. Brinton. Keep in mind that anti-fog solutions may not work as well on glasses with certain coatings, such as anti-glare, anti-fingerprint or anti-smudge, so it’s important to read the fine print on each product.

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