In many parts of the world, as much as 66 per cent of the people wear glasses. Of late, a large part of this population has had a common complaint- that of masks fogging their corrective eyewear.
When many people were asked to send in their queries about the coronavirus, most of them had a common question- What to do about masks fogging our glasses? This problem is relatively new to us and poses a challenge, which health care workers are struggling to overcome daily. Further below, we have tried to collect as much information as we could on this subject to help you tackle this problem.
But Why Are My Glasses Getting Foggy?
It is common knowledge for people who wear glasses that eyewear fogs easily after you walk out from a warm environment into the cold outdoor air. This might also happen when you open steaming hot appliances such as an oven door.
When you wear masks, warm breath escapes through the top edges and moves along the top of our cheeks. The hot breath lands on the cooler lenses and creates a foggy film on the glass because of condensation. If the weather is cold, this problem will be even worse.
How to Stop the Fogging of Glasses?
The first step that you can take is sealing your mask around the top edge of your mouth. Other than this, you can also follow the steps below:
Mold Your Mask -Medical masks come with bendable, built-in metal strips which are easy to mold along with the bride of your nose. In case you are using a homemade mask of fabric, you might want to add pipe cleaners to its rim, to get the same effect.
Tighten Your Mask -You can adjust the ear loops and the ties of your mask until it snugly fits against your face. If the air goes out the top of your mask, you probably have not set your masks correctly. As said by Shan Soe Lin, a lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs- Your breath should be mostly going through your mask. If you feel the air going in and out around the mask, you need to tighten its ties.
Tape Your Mask -Another option is that you medical or white athletic tape to seal the top of your mask around the bridge of the nose. You can even use an adhesive bandage to achieve the same. This is a tactic which is also used by a large number of students when they’re learning to use eye protection goggles. Dr Andrew Janowski, instructor of pediatric infectious diseases at Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis Children’s Hospital, testifies for the same.
It is also suggested that you do not use non-porous household tapes like duct tape or packing tape which might irritate your skin. You might feel that taping is too much work for just a trip outside, but it’s a warranted method in case you have to wear the masks for longer durations.
Pull Your Mask Up
-Another easy tip for everyday mask wear is that you use the weight of your glasses to block out the air. You can pull your mask up over the bridge of your nose as high as you would like (but while making sure it remains under your chin as well) to let the glasses rest on top of your mask. This is a trick which largely depends on the style and shape of the eyewear.
Can Home Lens Treatments Work?
There are certain anti-fogging home remedies that you can make use of to coat your lenses and get a better sight.
Use Soapy Water -A paper was published in 2011 by a British Surgeon which showed that if you wash your glasses with soapy water and then air dry them, it can help keep them free of fog. Soap happens to be a surfactant- that is a surface-active agent- a thin film is left behind by the soapy water, which prevents the water molecules from forming any droplets which could lead to fog.
Dr Sheraz Malik, a senior clinical fellow at Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the author of this very report, said that as someone who wore glasses regularly, he was greatly troubled by his glasses fogging up. This becomes especially pronounced when working in operating rooms that are kept much cooler than the outside.
Use Raw Potato-Raw potatoes might also help in keeping your glasses clear on any unnecessary fog.
Other Home Remedies
-Other suggestions for treating lenses include using shaving cream, toothpaste as well as baby shampoo. Although some people have suggested vinegar, this mostly doesn't work. The main challenge when using these remedies is that you only apply the right amount that keeps the glasses fog-free, without making them blurry.
What Not to Do-A very popular suggestion for treating foggy lenses is using spit to wipe the lens of your glasses. However, we are all dealing with a respiratory virus and trying to prevent the spread of germs, thus spitting on glasses might not be the best option in the middle of this pandemic.
Can I Use Commercial Anti-Fog Products?
It is possible for you to buy anti-fogging sprays and wipes, but this is rather expensive. One brand, FogTechDx, sells on Amazon at the rate of 20 wipes per 30 dollar which comes to about $1.5 per wipe—treating your glasses once keeps them clear for 3-5 days. This brand is often used by food safety workers, health care professionals, professional skiers, firefighters as well as scuba divers that have to wear protective eyewear under extreme conditions.
This wipe also contains a combination of absorbent silicone compounds that are mixed together with ethanol. The user can wipe the underside of their glass/ goggles, after which the alcohol evaporates, leaving behind a thin transparent layer helps resist fogging.
What if Nothing Works?
There is some bad news for people who have tried everything but still can't seem to keep their glasses-free of fog. Most glasses these days are covered with a special protective coating which resists glare and smudges. The issue here is that the coating can also resist any anti-fog treatments which include home remedies like soapy water as well as commercial treatment such as FogTech.
Because of special treatment from coatings like Crizal, the glasses become immune to anti-fogging techniques. It is difficult to avoid wearing glasses which have been treated thus since we need protection from UV rays, water, dust, smudges abs scratches.
Will I Be Stuck With My Foggy Glasses?
If nothing works, you can easily try one last thing- pushing your glasses forward to the brim of your nose. This allows more air to circulate and stops the fog. This has the downside of upsetting your vision but appears to work the best among all other options. As summer approaches, fogging will also retreat on its own as the outside air temperature matches your warm breath.