COVID-19 Tips: How To Prevent Your Eye Glasses From Going Foggy While Wearing A Mask
: With almost 60 per cent of the world population having to wear mask now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many like myself who wear spectacles or eye glasses have to navigate around the supermarkets, pharmacies or the pavements while dealing with fogged up glasses.
Individuals with glasses have learned the hard way during the coronavirus pandemic that wearing a face mask causes their glasses to fog up just about every time they exhale. While not a major issue, it’s quite annoying.
Fortunately for the bespectacled among us, there are ways to prevent condensation on your glasses while still following official guidelines on how to properly wear face masks.
Below are a few tips on how to overcome this problem and maintaining a clear view while wearing glasses and a face mask.
Water And Detergent
Physicians and healthcare professionals were on the front lines of this innovation long before the COVID-19 crisis as they wear face masks every day. They figured it out and codified this technique in a 2011 study published in the medical journal the Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England
The study recommends, “Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess. Then let them 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.”
It is said that the soapy water creates a thin film that temporarily stops the surface tension that causes glasses to fog up from the breaths directed up by face masks, according to the study. It’s not a permanent solution, however, and must be repeated a few times a day.
Carpenters who have to wear safety goggles with dust masks have found that shaving cream is also effective in preventing condensation on glasses.
Commercial Anti-fog spray
Many online commerce sites offer these chemical sprays to stop moisture from collecting on your glasses. Competitive swimmers sometimes use similar sprays to prevent foggy goggles in the middle of a race.
Similar to soap and water, these sprays are designed to keep condensation from sticking to lenses. A quick word of caution: be careful before putting chemicals near your eyes. Defogging your glasses isn’t worth causing irritations that could affect your vision in more serious ways.
Use A Mask With A Flexible “nose”
Certain masks come with a metal nose clip that allows the wearer to limit the amount of moisture that comes in or out of the mask. If you’re sewing homemade masks, you can use flexible objects like hair grips, paper clips or pipe cleaners to create a fitted “nose”. It’s worth mentioning that they should be fastened tightly to ensure they don’t come out and scratch your face.
Partially Fold Down Part Of The Mask
Although this sounds like the easiest way to mitigate the problem, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Folding down the top quarter of a face mask provides extra space for your breath to escape before it hits your glasses. This method is championed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in Japan, and has gained traction through YouTube tutorials like one from Japanese channel C Channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=P23w0FWXISw&feature=emb_logo
Keep in mind, though, that this doesn’t work in masks containing metal noses and more importantly, it reduces the area covered by the mask.
Incorporating Folded Tissues
Another YouTube video also teaches us another way to keep glasses from fogging by folding a tissue into a rectangle and connecting it to the mask so it stays on the bridge of your nose. The tissue blocks and absorbs some of the moisture escaping the mask to keep lenses clear.
However, keeping the tissue in place can be tricky, and it’s vital to get it right the first time so you’re not constantly touching your face to adjust it.
Tape Your Mask.
Another option is to use white athletic or medical tape or even an adhesive bandage to seal the top of the mask around the bridge of your nose.
Dr Andrew Janowski, instructor of pediatric infectious diseases at Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis Children’s Hospital told Thailand Medical News, “This is something a lot of medical students learn early on when they’re using eye protection goggles.”
However do not use nonporous household tapes like packing tape or duct tape, which could irritate skin. Taping is a lot of work for a short trip outside, but might be warranted if you’re caring for a sick person.
Pull Up Your Mask.
Another easier tip for day-to-day mask wear is to use the weight of your glasses to block the air. Pull the mask up over the bridge of the nose as high as you can (make sure it’s still under your chin too) and let your glasses rest on top of the mask. I tried this and it works pretty well for me, but it depends on the shape and style of your eyewear.
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