Those of us who have worn glasses all our lives know just how annoying and inconvenient it can be to leave a warm building and go out into the cold outdoors, only to have the world disappear behind the fog that descends on our glasses. And when there’s a need to wear face masks in public, that temporary inconvenience could well turn into a semi-permanent thing because of the way air circulates in the area between your glasses and your mask.
When we wear a mask, our warm breath, which normally dissipates into the air when we exhale, is caught and pushed up against an unfamiliar or unnatural barrier. Our breath then travels up the inside of the mask to escape at the top to travel along our cheeks before it hits the lenses of our eyeglasses, creating the condensation in our glasses that we dread. And before you think this problem is unique to you, consider that about two-thirds of the world’s population need glasses in order to see, and most will be going through the same struggle you are (via The New York Times).
Protective masks need to fit snugly across your face
If your glasses keep fogging up, the best thing to do is tighten the seal across the top of your mask where it meets the bridge of your nose, and adjust your mask so it fits snugly against your face. “If the air is going out the top, you don’t have your mask on correctly,” Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs lecturer Shan Soe-Lin told the The New York Times. “Most of the breath should be going through the mask. If you feel the air going in or out around the mask, tighten the ties.” You can also fold a piece of tissue and place it inside your mask, so droplets can be absorbed by that first (via ABC).
If dealing with your glasses is an easier option than dealing with your mask, the Royal College of Surgeons in the UK suggests washing your glasses with soapy water, then letting them air dry before putting the mask back on. Otherwise, you might want to try and find commercial anti-fog sprays to keep your glasses from turning into a visual hindrance.
But if your glasses are coated with a protective spray and even commercial solutions don’t work, you may want to try moving your glasses and mask around until you find a position that works best for you. Some prefer to have the mask sit directly under glasses, others may want to push their glasses further down their noses, to allow air to move freely.
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