During these unprecedented times, most of us are following the CDC guidelines for wearing face masks in public to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, for the 64 percent of Americans who wear glasses – and countless others who wear sunglasses – this new public health mandate comes with an unexpected consequence: foggy lenses.
Wearing a mask directs your warm, exhaled air upwards, which then condenses on the cooler surface of the lens (many of us have encountered this while shoveling snow or playing outdoors in winter). The result is tiny droplets that form on the lens, which scatter the light and reduce the ability of the lens to transmit contrast.
Here are some ways to prevent your glasses from fogging.
1. Wash the lenses with soapy water
Before slipping on a face mask, wash your glasses or sunglasses lenses with soapy water and shake off the excess moisture. Then, let your glasses air dry or gently dry the lenses with a clean microfiber cloth.
This technique leaves a thin film that reduces surface tension that build up from your breath, causing the water molecules to spread out evenly into a transparent layer that defogs your glasses.
2. Create a seal
Masks that have a flexible wire allow you to mold the mask around the bridge of your nose, blocking the warm exhaled air from your mouth.
A common trick employed by doctors involves sticking a piece of double-sided tape across the bridge of the nose before putting on a mask. This creates a better seal.
3. Make sure the mask fits well
A loose-fitting mask lets exhaled air head toward your glasses.
If the masks fits well it will help prevent the amount of hot air that reaches the lenses.
4. Adjust your glasses
If your glasses have nose pads, you can tweak the pads so that the frames sit slightly farther from your face, this will allow the hot air to escape instead of getting trapped between your face and the lenses of the glasses.
5. Breathe downward
Breathing downward can be a quick anti-fog fix, this sends the air away from your glasses.
How do you breathe downward? Hold your upper lip over your lower lip. Then blow air downward, as if you’re playing a flute.
6. Try de-fogging products**
Applying over-the-counter anti-fogging sprays, waxes and gels to your lenses before putting on your glasses can quickly disperse tiny fog droplets when you’re wearing a mask.
Zeiss Fog Defender Spray with Fog Defender Microfiber Cloth
- Perfect anti-fog prevention
- Can be used with camera, binocular, any eyewear and lenses
- Safe, lasting and highly effective
7. Check out anti-fog lenses**
This won’t fix your foggy-lens problem right away, but you might consider buying lenses with an anti-fog coating. An anti-fog coating gives you a hassle-free answer to foggy lenses, regardless of whether the obstructed vision is triggered by a face mask or something else.