Optical Shop manager Patrick Shaw at the John A. Moran Eye Center knows all about wearing glasses with a protective mask for hours on end.
Since COVID-19 safety protocols went into effect, he and his team have been working safely with customers—and they’ve heard lots of complaints about the annoyance of putting on a mask only to have glasses fog up immediately.
“I can relate,” says Shaw. “It happens naturally to every eyeglass wearer when warm breath escapes from the top of the mask and sits on the cooler surface of lenses. Part of the problem is the fit of the mask. Fortunately, we’ve got some simple solutions for that.”
Easy Tips to Keep Your Glasses Fog-Free When You Wear a Mask
Create a seal: One of Shaw’s favorite tips is to adjust the fit to create a seal along the top edge of a basic surgical mask. Simply twist the loops once and put them over your ears (they’ll form a figure eight when viewed from the side). Twisting the loops puts slight downward pressure on the top part of the mask, redirecting your breath so it doesn’t flow up into your eyes. Pinch the mask over the bridge of your nose so it fits comfortably.
Rest your glasses on your mask: Whatever type of mask you’re wearing, once you’ve fit the mask to the bridge of your nose, try resting your eyeglasses on it. Covering a quarter inch of the mask with the bottom of your frames creates a seal. Just be sure you also cover your nose and mouth completely.
Close the gap: If your mask isn’t snug enough on the bridge of your nose, you can close the gap with medical or athletic tape—or even an adhesive bandage.
Get more air circulating: Try pushing your glasses forward on your nose just a bit. This allows more air to circulate so your breath doesn’t fog your vision.
Try anti-fogging solutions: Use an anti-fogging cream or spray on your lenses or safety goggles. Since mask-wearing has become an everyday necessity, these solutions are more widely available in optical shops, drugstores, and online. “You may have heard that washing your lenses with soap and water before wearing them may help,” Shaw notes. “But the effect isn’t as good or long-lasting as an anti-fogging solution.”
Order a coating for new lenses: If you’re ordering new glasses, Shaw suggests considering lenses with a permanent anti-fogging coating. “It prevents the fogging that happens when you transition from a cold environment to a warm one—such as getting into your car when it’s freezing outside. It can also keep your lenses from fogging up during sports like tennis or skiing, or other times you’re hot and perspiring.”
Masks are Here to Stay for a While: Here’s How to Wear Them Correctly to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus