Coronavirus: Simple Tricks to Stop Your Mask from Fogging Your Glasses

In All Health Watch, Coronavirus, Featured Article

Perhaps the most annoying thing about wearing a face mask is that they can cause your glasses to fog up.

Not only is it irritating, but it can be dangerous if you are driving or doing something else that requires sharp vision.

Foggy glasses happen when your breath seeps through the top of your mask. The warm air meets the cooler lenses and causes condensation. The cooler the air around you, the worse the effect.

6 Tricks Healthcare Workers Use to Keep Their Mask From Fogging Their Glasses

Doctors and nurses deal with this every day. Here are six strategies they use to keep their glasses clear while wearing a face mask.

  1. Seal it. Use medical tape or an adhesive bandage. Apply it along the top edge of your mask to seal it to your face. Wash and dry your face first to remove facial oil so the tape sticks well. Don’t use nonporous tape such as packing, duct, or masking tape. Any of these could irritate your skin.
  • Make it snug. Tie it more tightly or reposition it to make sure the air is mainly going through the mask as you breathe rather than in and out the sides.

    This is Dr. Shan Soe-Lin’s go-to method. She is a lecturer at Yale University. If air “is going out the top, you don’t have your mask on correctly,” she said.[i]
  • Mold it to the contours of your face. Medical masks have a strip of bendable metal along the top so you can shape them around the bridge of your nose. If you have a cloth mask, you can get the same effect by inserting pipe cleaners or wire in the top edge.
  • Position it higher. If you bring the mask’s top edge up high enough, you can rest the bottom of your glasses on it to hold it down. Just make sure the bottom of the mask still covers your chin.
  • Wash your glasses in soapy water. British surgeon Dr. Sheraz Malik published a paper in the medical journal The Annals in which he described this method.[ii]

Wash your glasses in soapy water but don’t rinse them. Put them aside to air dry. This leaves a thin film on the lenses. It will prevent water vapor in the air from misting them up.

“I haven’t timed it, but the technique reliably works for more than a half-hour when operating,” Dr. Malik said.

Toothpaste, baby shampoo, and shaving cream are reported to work as well. Whatever you use, the trick is to leave a coating that’s thin enough to repel condensation but not so thick that it makes your vision blurry.

  • Use an anti-fog product. Wipes such as FogTech Dx run about $30 for 20. And sprays such as Fog Gone cost about $18 for an 8-ounce bottle. You can get them from online retailers and department stores.

It looks like wearing a face mask in public will be a way of life for at least the next few months. Learn from the professionals to make it as comfortable as possible.

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