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A year ago, few people had worn face masks other than for their home repair projects or when in hospitals.
The COVID-19 pandemic masking requirements and the evidence of their effectiveness have made facial coverings a daily ritual for people around the globe.
One concern that face masks have brought to the forefront for many: foggy glasses. If you wear glasses, you understand this pain.
Foggy glasses aren’t just a matter of inconvenience. Foggy glasses while you’re driving could result in a crash, and foggy glasses while you’re walking could result in slips and falls.
If you wear frames every day and want to eliminate the common inconvenience, keep reading for ways to reduce the risk of experiencing glasses fog. Most of these are easy to try and cost little.
Masks that don’t fit your face well allow for warm, moist breath to escape. That breath hits your glasses and creates instant fog.
Look for a face mask that has a more tailored fit. While one-size-fits-all masks are convenient, they don’t always have the greatest fit, especially around your nose.
If you aren’t a tailor, you can look for masks with some fit-enhancing features, like a nose bridge or adjustable elastics.
- baby shampoos
- some shaving creams
Try following these steps:
- Rinse your glasses with one type of soap and warm water.
- Let them air dry.
- Then, wipe them free of spots with a dry microfiber cloth.
If your glasses have any special films, like ultraviolet or glare protection, talk with your optician before trying the steps above. Some cleansers could damage these lenses.
The solution to foggy glasses might actually be on your face.
If you can pull your mask up high enough, you can lower your eyeglasses to create a seal that will block escaping air. Some specially designed masks sit higher on your face without obstructing your view.
If a snug-fitting mask doesn’t stop the fogging, consider shutting off the flow of breath out the top of your mask with tape.
You can use the following items to secure the mask to your nose and cheeks, so the air can flow away from your glasses:
- medical tape
- sports tape
- an adhesive bandage
But before you put any type of tape on your face, you should try it elsewhere on your body. Adhesives can irritate your skin.
Many ready-to-wear masks have built-in nose bridges. Those can work well to help you shape the mask to your face.
But if your masks don’t have the bridge, you can add one. If you have sewing skills, you can sew one under the top fabric of the masks.
If you don’t have sewing skills, you can glue or even tape a bridge in place. Ideal bridge materials include:
- pipe cleaners
- aluminum foil
- paper clips
- twist ties
Some craft and hobby stores also sell nose-bridge elements for people to use in hand sewn masks.
If you need an anti-fog solution fast, reach for either a:
- paper towel
Then try these steps:
- Fold the tissue into a slender, long piece, and place it directly under the top edge of the mask.
- Secure your mask snugly, so the tissue will stay in place.
You can use nylon tights to hold a face mask closely to your face. Tights, unlike masks, provide no protection against airborne bacteria and germs. But they can help secure the masks to your face to prevent escaping breath.
Like hand soap and shaving cream, dish soap can leave behind a film that protects against moisture buildup. In fact, scuba divers and snorkelers frequently use a diluted dish soap solution to prevent fogging while they’re underwater.
These steps may help relieve fogging:
- Clean your glasses with dish soap and warm water.
- Rinse the soap off, and let dry.
- Wipe away any spots with a microfiber cloth.
Eyeglass wearers have benefited from a variety of wipes and sprays that are designed especially for tackling foggy glasses. These products leave behind a film or finish that is resistant to the fog left behind by hot, moist breath.
The internet has so many tips and tricks for preventing foggy eyeglasses. For every suggestion that works, you’ll likely find some that don’t.
It’s best if you skip these de-fogging strategies. We’ll explain why.
Many toothpastes are made with abrasive ingredients like baking soda. These grainy substances can scratch eyeglasses, which can be an expensive concern.
Swimmers and divers might also swear by this technique, but in a pandemic, using bacteria-filled fluids isn’t a good idea for many reasons. So, besides the obvious, spit will not stop fogging.
While vinegar can be an excellent all-natural cleaner around your house, it doesn’t belong on your eyeglasses. The solution’s high-acid content can damage coatings on your glasses.
One word: condensation.
When the warm, moist air from your mouth and nose escapes through the gaps around your mask, it hits the cool surface of your eyeglasses. There, it turns to a blinding layer of moisture.
You may have experienced this if you’ve ever walked into a cold building while wearing sunglasses on a hot day. The moisture rapidly builds up and leaves behind a layer of fog.
When you’re wearing a baggy or ill-fitting face mask, you’re creating extra space for that warm, moist breath to escape. That’s why the goal of preventing the fog is to reduce the number of places the moist, hot air can escape.
Stopping glasses from fogging is all about preventing air from escaping from the top of your mask. Many solutions for foggy eyeglasses are easy to test and inexpensive.
So, before you consider buying any specialized products, first try easy fixes, like:
If those don’t work, you can graduate to more advanced fixes, including fitted masks or commercial products. It may take you a few attempts to find the fix that works for you, but don’t give up.