Masks and glasses; it doesn't have to be a daily struggle.
Fri, December 3rd, 2021
The Covid-19 CDC pandemic mandates and their evident health benefits have transformed masks into a daily routine many of us have grown accustomed to.
However, a foggy relationship between masks and glasses has arisen.
If you wear glasses daily or almost daily (yes, this includes sunglasses too) then you've experienced the #struggle of pairing your mask with your frames.
This fogging effect can get in the way of your day-to-day life—impairing driving and your ability to see clearly.
We've been left wondering why do our glasses fog up when wearing a mask and what can we do to resolve this?
Why do our glasses fog, and what are the consequences?
Fogging occurs when warm moist air from our breath escapes upwards out of our masks.
You may already be familiar with this effect while wearing glasses, having walked out of a warm house into the cold outdoor air, or even when opening an oven door to check on dinner.
It is the same concept at work when the warm moist air from our breath makes contact with our frames.
So, what can we do to resolve this obstructive problem?
It all starts with finding a mask that fits your face correctly and, most importantly, doesn't allow for air to escape upwards.
Why does the size and fit of your mask matter?
One-size-fits-all masks are more commonly sold and may even be the cheaper option, but when it comes to pairing them with your glasses, the benefits don't outweigh the fog.
Instead, look for masks with fit-enhancing features—a nose bridge strip, adjustable straps, a mask that ties around your head and neck, or mask fitters.
You want to make sure that your mask snugly covers your nose, the sides of your face, and fully incorporates your chin.
Most importantly, you want to make sure that your mask has a nose bridge mechanism—a moldable but sturdy piece of metal that can conform to fit around the bridge of your nose comfortably.
Ensuring your mask is the right fit, size, and worn correctly can significantly differ how much, if any, warm moist air escapes from your mask, and may also better prevent droplets from escaping.
If even after adhering to the above modifications you still notice minimal fogging occurring there are additional remedies that may help.
Tips and Tricks that may mitigate frame fogging:
Utilizing home remedies can be a more cost-effective method and allow for daily treatment of your frames—ensuring you see clearly on the go.
Finding what works best for you may be a matter of preference and comfort as these are not a one-size-fits-all approach.
So, give them a try and see which fits best into your life.
- Clean your lenses with soap: Washing your frames with household soap and warm water can leave behind a film that acts as a barrier against moisture. You'll want to rinse your glasses with one type of soap, free of abrasive substances and acidic ingredients, under warm water. Then allow your frames to air dry before you wipe them free of spots with a dry microfiber cloth.
- Dish soap: Similarly to household soaps, dish detergent can leave behind a film that aids in preventing moisture build-up. Again, you'll want to avoid dish soaps with any form of acidic ingredients to avoid damaging your lenses. It's best to dilute the dish soap and use a small amount to achieve your desired result. Use warm water, rinse your lenses thoroughly, and allow your glasses to air dry. Make sure only to use a microfiber lens cleaning cloth to remove any residue.
- Tape your mask to the bridge of your nose: If your mask is tightly placed on your face and correctly positioned, but you're finding your frames are still fogging up, it may be time to break out some household tape. Place the tape around the bridge of your nose or the top edges of your mask securely to cut off any moisture from escaping. Medical tape, sports tape, adhesive tape, and double-sided tape may all do the trick. Avoid using duck tape or overly adhesive tapes that can cause irritation or burning of the skin. It's best to try the tape out on a different part of the body before placing it on your face to avoid adverse reactions.
- Block the gaps in your mask with a tissue, cloth, or paper towel: A quick on-the-go solution, if you don't have access to other remedies, is to create a barrier around the bridge of your nose with either a tissue, cloth, or paper towel. You'll want to fold the tissue into a thin, long piece and place it right under the top rim of your mask. Secure your mask as tightly and comfortably as possible to hold the tissue in place. This method may not be the most effective way to prevent your glasses from fogging but can help eliminate a good amount of fogging in a pinch.
- Pull your mask up higher and seal it to your face with the rim of your frames: Another quick fix could be to adjust the placement of your mask to fit a bit higher on your face secured in place by your glasses. You'll want to make sure your mask can be pulled up without obstructing your vision and that your frames have the availability to press down firmly on your mask. This solution may not work with all frames or masks but may be an excellent choice for some.
- Commercial anti-fog solutions: If home remedies or the proper mask and fit have not ended your war with foggy glasses, commercial anti-fog products may help. This option may be more costly, but many commercial products have been heavily reviewed, aiding you in getting your money's worth. There are wipes and sprays marketed at defogging glasses entirely. These products are said to leave behind a finish resistant to fog left on your lenses from warm moist air. As always, make sure to do your homework on your product of choice to ensure it won't damage your glasses.
Could switching to contacts be the answer?
The struggle of ending lens fogging has left many wondering if it may be time to switch to contacts.
Contact lenses provide a safe and effective form of vision correction for 45 million Americans, and this number is rising. Optometrists have noticed an increase in patients requesting to be fitted for contacts since the start of Covid-19.
According to the CDC, there is currently no evidence to suggest contact lens wearers are more at risk for getting COVID-19 than eyeglass wearers.
There are, though, some safety precautions you should take, such as washing your hands thoroughly before applying, removing, and touching your contacts, as well as not sleeping in your contacts.
Hubble's daily disposable contacts may be an excellent option for you as they require less maintenance, and you're able to apply a fresh pair daily. Less maintenance means less contact with your lenses throughout the day, aiding to prevent contracting Covid-19.
If you are considering switching from frames to contact lenses, schedule a visit to your Optometrist to get an up-to-date prescription and get on your way to see the world without the fog.
So, what is the best solution?
It may take a few attempts to find the most suitable option for you. Take a weekend, start with the easier quick fixes and take them for a test drive. If the results aren't what you were hoping for, give some commercial anti-fog products a go. And, if you're ready to make the switch from frames to contacts, give Hubble's dailies a try and eliminate the fogging effect. You deserve to see clearly, so finding the right solution is pivotal. At the end of the day, seeing clearly and wearing a mask should prove to be a healthy pair—keeping you moving forward.