Like it or not (and really, NONE of us like it), face masks are here to stay. Well, at least until they’ve come up with appropriate treatment and/or (hopefully “and”) a vaccine for coronavirus.
If you wear glasses, you probably learned early on that glasses and masks don’t mix. The fogging happens because if you’re wearing a mask appropriately, where it’s snug on your face, your breath is forced upwards when you exhale. The warm, moist air causes condensation on your glasses, which you see as them fogging up.
There are lots of ways to try to stop your glasses from getting fogged up; some work better than others. Here are a bunch of them that you can experiment with:
- Adjust your glasses. Push your glasses forward on your nose. This allows the exhaled air to circulate differently so your glasses might not be in its path.
- Adjust your mask. If you pull your mask high enough so your glasses are over your mask, it might block the warm, moist air so it’s forced to exit another way.
- Put a tissue inside your mask. Fold a tissue up and tape it to the inside of your mask at the bridge of your nose. It can (A) absorb the moisture from your breath and (B) decrease how much breath gets through in that area.
- Tape your mask. If you tape your mask to the bridge of your nose and on your cheeks/under your eyes, it prevents air from escaping from the top of the mask. Regular adhesive tape will stop working if it gets wet from sweat or oily skin, but medical or athletic tape should work. Don’t use duct tape or packing tape.
- Wash your glasses with soap and water. The thin film the soap leaves behind can stop water droplets from building up (fog is just lots and lots of water droplets). (this one was even documented by a surgeon).
- Or try washing them with shaving cream or baby shampoo. Same principle as washing them with soap and water. Head up for those of you who have glasses with special coating – this, and the “soap and water” technique may or may not work; the coating may affect the glass where the thin soap film won’t stick.
- Use a commercial anti-fogging product. There are bunches of them out there; some are liquids that you spray on and wipe off with a cloth, some are cloths that are pre-saturated with the liquid.
- Fold down part of the mask. This might not be so easy to do, depending on what kind of mask you have. But if it can be done, the idea is that it makes a channel for the air to go more out the sides than up as you exhale. This video from Japan explains it visually.
- Use a mask with a metal tab to mold over the bridge of your nose. If your mask is more molded to your nose, it creates a better seal, so less air can escape from that area.
- Try a different mask. A proper mask should (A) fit snugly (B) allow most of your exhaled breath to escape through the cloth of the mask, not the sides/top. A different style of mask, that (A) fits more snugly, (B) is thinner to allow more air flow, or (C) both, might work better for you.
Two final suggestions for those who are wearing glasses for visual correction and not just sunglasses, would be to use contact lenses or get LASIK done. I realize those are kind of extreme so I’m mentioning them tongue in cheek (although I must say that, having had LASIK done 20 years ago, it is all flavors of awesomesauce and some of the best money I ever spent).
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary