How do I stop my glasses / specs fogging up while wearing a face mask?

Do you wear spectacles and a mask? You may be entitled to condensation!

Lol ok no more corny jokes but to anyone who wear specs and has needed to wear a face mask in recent weeks, the struggle is real! With the wearing of masks becoming more common place especially with guidance to wear them in shops and on public transport during the Covid19 pandemic, we thought it might help to share some tips.

So why does it happen?

As we breathe out, our exhaled air is searching for an escape route out of the mask and most often, comes out of the top of the mask. The warm water vapour from our breath hits the colder lens and clouds our vision. Not only can this be annoying, it can also potentially be serious if it effects driving or critical work. It also risks us touching our glasses, masks and faces at a time when we shouldn't be. 

What can we do about it?

If you need a mask to work and will wear one for most of your working day for the foreseeable future, it may be worth investing in a longer term solution such as contact lenses or possibly invest in some dedicated work glasses with an anti fog coating such as Crizal Optifog. We're happy to discuss pros and cons of these options with you.

In the short term, these tips might help:

1. Before you put you mask on, wash your glasses with warm soapy water and dab dry with kitchen towel. This is a good hygiene practice but also warms the glasses up and helps equalise the temperature and also provides a barrier that resists the vapour.

2. Please ignore advice suggesting toothpaste, shaving foam or neat baby shampoo, these might damage your lenses in the long term.

3. Make sure your mask fits you well. Its all about creating a good seal with whatever type of mask or face covering that you use. Some better masks have a piece of metal wire that can be moulded around the nose and this will help improve the fit. 

4.Try sealing the top of the mask with micropore tape as this forces the air downwards and away from the specs instead.

5. Try folding a tissue and putting in inside of the mask. I haven't tried this myself yet as luckily I have a great coating on my lenses and a very well fitting mask homemade mask made by my lovely mum but other optical colleagues have said this trick is a gamechanger!

6. Call us to book an fitting check and adjustment of your glasses. If glasses fit a little further away from your face, it can help but this isn't always practical with plastic / acetate frames and those without nose pads.

7. As a very short term fix when doing something critical, try forcing your breathe downwards away from your glasses but putting your top lip above your bottom lip and blowing. Not ideal for any length of time but can help. 

7. Try anti fogging products. Anti fog wipes, sprays and pastes are all available (We sometimes have in stock or can order in) and are certainly worth a try if fogging is causing issues. 

If like me your new to face masks and PPE, it's certainly a learning curve and a can be a daunting experience. Hopefully we can get through these difficult times together and find our rhythm in the new normal. 

Stay Safe

Abi Page, Dispensing optician
Page & Small Opticians