Fight the fog

Fight the fog: How to wear glasses with your Covid mask

With a resurgence of Covid in the community at the moment, some of us are choosing to don the masks again. With that, comes the dreaded problem of how to wear your mask without fogging up your glasses! This post from our head office team should help.

Several new phrases have entered our vocabulary in the last two years – phrases which we never said before and hope (soon) to never have to say again: ‘social distancing,’ ‘lockdowns’ and, for the millions of Australians who wear glasses regularly: ‘foggy glasses.’

Depending on your mood, foggy glasses can be an annoyance or an affliction. Foggy glasses are caused entirely by the warm air you breath out. As your breath escapes through the top of your mask, it hits the cool surface of your glasses and turns into condensation. Any time warm air hits cold air, the result is condensation. (The same thing happens when a person wearing glasses walks into a warm building on a cold day).

If you have experienced the annoyance/affliction of mask-related foggy glasses, you’re not alone –most spectacle wearers surveyed struggle with glasses fogging up with a mask.

The internet is full of fixes for this problem—some good, some bad and some ugly. Eyecare Plus has sifted through the noise and information to give you the best techniques to help you ‘fight the fog.’

The good

Fix the mask

The most common cause of fogging glasses has nothing to do with the glasses: it is the mask. If your mask is not fitting right, air escapes out the top when you exhale, causing condensation inside your glasses.

Make sure your mask fits snugly around your nose. For people with glasses, the best mask for glasses has wiring around the nose.

Sticky tape or bandage

The use of surgical tape or an adhesive bandage to stick your mask to your nose has been a widely circulated technique adherents claim works well.  Tape the upper rim of your mask down with a cloth bandage so that the mask beneath your eyewear is mostly sealed. This idea, popularised by a doctor in the States, has been widely circulated since the start of COVID and has proved an effective treatment to stop glasses fogging up.

Move the glasses

Rest your glasses on top of your mask, then push your glasses forward on your nose to seal off the air that escapes from the top of your mask.

Wash your glasses

This is an old scuba diver trick: use dish soap to clean your glasses. Simple dish soap leaves behind a film that protects against moisture build-up. Wash your lenses in soapy water, shake off the excess and dry with a soft, microfibre cloth. (Avoid facial tissues, as they leave lint behind, which attracts moisture to the lenses).

Sprays and wipe products

De-misting sprays and wipes are specifically designed to stop glasses from fogging up, and most of them work well. They coat the lenses with a ‘hydrophilic’ (literally: ‘water-loving’) clear film that attracts and disperses water and eliminates fog.

Wear contacts

If all else fails, the single best way to eliminate foggy lenses is to wear contact lenses. Ask us for recommendations that suit your current lens type and wearing habits.

The bad

Because the internet is just doing its thing, you can expect five bad ideas for every good one. Here are a few anti-fog techniques for glasses that fall firmly in the FAIL category…

Don’t use household cleaners. Windex or spray ammonias should not be used on glasses. They can damage the anti-reflective coatings or other laboratory-applied treatments.

Don’t use vinegar or lemon juice. Often promoted because they are non-toxic, lemon juice and vinegar should also be avoided. They can strip away the coating on your lenses just like regular household cleaners.

Don’t use hot water. There is no benefit to using extra hot water to rinse your glasses, in fact, it can damage the lenses. Warm water is best.

Don’t use toothpaste. Toothpaste contains abrasives which can dull the finish on your glasses or create scratches.

As always, if you have any concerns, book an appointment with us and we’ll be able to discuss all the options with you.

This website does not provide medical advice.  It is intended for informational purposes only.  It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment.  If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately dial Triple 0 (000).

Fight the fog
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