With any luck, we won’t need to wear masks in public much longer. Some areas already are easing up on their mask requirements as COVID-19 vaccinations climb and cases fall.
However, until the day we all can toss our facial coverings, many of us still must contend with an irritating side effect that makes wearing a mask even worse for folks who wear eyeglasses or sunglasses.
As anyone who dons spectacles quickly realizes, wearing a mask can cause your lenses to fog. Every time you breathe, the warm air you exhale travels into the mask, then up and out, onto your lenses. Because the lenses are cooler, fog forms inside.
Fortunately, the following fixes can prevent this annoyance.
1. Soap and water
A 2011 study published in the journal Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England found that a little soap and water goes a long way toward eliminating unwanted fogging. According to the study authors:
“Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess. Then, let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn.”
One caveat: Although dish soap typically is recommended for this technique, it’s important to choose a brand that does not use lotion, which can harm the lenses. Lukewarm water also is recommended, as hot water can damage lenses too.
2. Anti-fog spray
Sprays also are available to keep your lenses fog-free. You can find anti-fog sprays at Amazon.
Just note that these can irritate the eyes of some people, so they may not work for everyone.
3. Tuck a small tissue into the mask
Newsweek says tucking a small tissue inside the mask will absorb moisture that otherwise would find its way to the lenses.
The publication recommends placing a folded tissue at the top of your mask and taping it there.
4. Slide your glasses further down your nose
By sliding your spectacles a little lower down your nose and further from the top edge of the mask, you can keep them out of the way of the moist air as it escapes.
This is probably not an ideal long-term solution, but it works in a pinch.
5. Modify the mask to better fit your face
Finally, Glamour says a mask that fits your face more snugly is less likely to produce fogging. So, if the mask has a wire inside the top edge, pinch it tightly to your nose.
If your mask doesn’t have a wire, Glamour recommends a tutorial that can help you create a mask with a “flexible nose.”