24th Oct, 2020

Optometrists advise how to avoid fogging when wearing glasses with face masks

Claire Bullivant 4th Aug, 2020 Updated: 4th Aug, 2020

Wearing a face mask or face covering is becoming the new normal, but one of the minor problems of the COVID-19 pandemic is fogged-up eyewear. This happens when warm breath escapes from the top of the mask and lands on the cooler surface of the lens.

Ceri Smith-Jaynes from the Association of Optometrists (AOP) has come up with the following ways you can prevent your glasses from fogging:

  • Ensure the mask is well-fitted – Take a little time to shape the nose wire on your face mask, so it closely follows the contours of your nose and cheeks and secure the top strap well. If your mask has no wire, you can insert a twist tie or pipe cleaner into the top edge of the mask. You could secure the top edge with micro-pore tape, if necessary. Alternatively, fold a tissue until it forms a strip and place it along the top edge of the mask before you put it on.
  • Adjust the loops – If you have a small head, you may find you need to twist the loops before putting them around your ears to get a snugger fit. If the mask has tapes to tie it, tie the top one high on the back of your head after putting on your glasses.
  • Buy good quality anti-fog sprays – Good quality anti-fog sprays can work well and can be purchased from most opticians. Never use washing up liquid on glass lenses. It can break down the anti-reflection lens coating gradually over the years, resulting in a crazy-paving effect for which there is only one cure – replacement lenses.
  • Keep your glasses warm – Your lenses will fog up more if they are cold, so wear your glasses or put them in your pocket to warm them a little before you need to put on your mask.
  • Have your glasses professionally fitted – Ring your optician and book an appointment, remembering to take your mask with you (and your face-shield if you need to work in one). They can adjust the nose-pads or sides to fit properly with your PPE. Varifocals will need to sit exactly right to ensure optimum performance.
  • Try wearing contact lenses – Contact lenses don’t fog up. If you’ve never worn them before, now is a great time to try them. If it’s been years since you wore contact lenses, ask your practice about the new options. You’ll need a professional fitting by an optometrist or contact lens optician. The range of prescriptions is vast; even if you wear varifocal glasses, there are options for you.

You can watch a short video with tips on how you can wear a mask and prevent your glasses from fogging by clicking here.

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