Although you may have been wearing a face mask for many months, from the 24th July 2020 it is becoming mandatory in many areas to wear a face mask in shops as well as on public transport for the safety of ourselves and the people around us.
Wearing a face mask has become an essential part of our everyday lives, but for those glasses wearers amongst us you may find that your glasses and sunglasses fog up as soon as you start wearing your mask.
Why do glasses fog up when wearing a face mask?
Glasses steaming up when wearing a face mask is a common problem. It is caused by limited airflow to your lenses. When you wear a face mask, the warm air that you breathe out escapes through the top of your mask and hits the cool area of your lenses, causing your glasses to fog up.
How to stop your glasses steaming up with a mask on
There are a few things you can do to help to stop your glasses misting and reduce the annoying face mask fog.
Here are 9 ways to beat the steam:
1. Make sure your mask is a good fit
Your face mask should sit snugly against your nose, cheeks and mouth. To adjust the fit and bring it closer to your face, tighten the ear loops by twisting them before putting over your ears.
2. Wear a mask with a nose bridge sewn into it
Securing your mask around the bridge of your nose will stop warm air escaping from out of the top of the mask. Some masks may have a metal or plastic strip across the bridge, or you can make your own by using a piece of surgical tape to hold the fabric in place and close the gap.
3. Soak up excess moisture
Line your mask with a folded tissue. This helps to soak up the moisture from your breath.
4. Wear your mask higher up on your nose
If it is comfortable to do so, try wearing your glasses over your mask. Pull your mask higher up your nose and use your glasses to seal it.
5. Move your glasses further down your nose
If it does not impact your vision, you can try moving your glasses further down your nose to create more space between the top of your mask and your lenses. This will allow more space for the air to circulate and will mean your lenses are less likely to steam up.
6. Check the fit of your glasses
Do your glasses fit properly? They may need adjusting, especially if you have had them for a while. Your local independent optician will be only too pleased to do this for you.
7. Breathe out slowly
Maintaining steady breathing and focusing on breathing out slowly through your nose can reduce misting.
8. Use an anti-fog spray
There are also a range of anti-fog sprays you can try but make sure you use one that wont damage the protective coatings on your lenses. Before using a spray, speak with your local optician for advice.
9. Apply an anti-fog coating
Anti-fog coatings can be added to your lenses. Speak with your optician who will talk you through your options.
Can cleaning your lenses with soapy water stop fogging?
There is a lot of advice being published against optometrist's guidance that recommends washing your lenses with a small drop of washing up liquid to reduce misting.
Do be extremely careful of any special coatings you may have on your glasses to ensure you do not scratch the lenses. Modern glasses lenses are made of plastic that can be damaged by washing up liquid as it contains salt. Many lenses are enhanced by an anti-reflective coating that can be affected by this method of cleaning and warranties can also be invalidated if recommended cleaning advice is not followed.
If you do want to try cleaning your lenses with soapy water or washing up liquid, we highly recommend that you speak with your local optician first who will recommend safer cleaning techniques that are less likely to cause damage.
Read more: the best type of lens coatings for your glasses
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Got a question about your glasses or struggling with your glasses misting up??
Your friendly team at your local independent optician are qualified to suggest the best ways of caring for your lenses to achieve your best vision.