Wearing a face mask can be both challenging and frustrating, especially if you wear glasses.
In July 2020, the CDC called on Americans to wear face masks to help prevent the spread of COIVD-19. Face masks are required in many if not or all public places, depending on where you live, and glasses wearers are experiencing foggy glasses now more than ever.
If you’re not quite sure what your state’s mask mandate status is, take a look at this map to see the states requiring people to wear a mask when out in public. Keep in mind, the city or county you live in may require you to wear a mask in public places, even if the state you live in does not.
In order to help us all adjust to the new normal, we’ve put together a list of five ways to avoid foggy glasses when wearing a face mask. Before we dive into it though, let’s talk about why our glasses are fogging up in the first place.
Why do glasses fog up?
According to Cleveland Clinic, condensation occurs when warm air comes in contact with a cool surface. Think of what happens to an ice-cold glass of water even in just a room temperature room or what happens to your glasses in the winter when you walk into a generously heated building. That’s condensation!
When wearing a face mask, warm, moisture-rich air from your breath may escape out of the top of your mask, providing the perfect opportunity for water molecules to condensate on your eyeglasses. Tiny, invisible water droplets from your exhale collect on the cool surface of your glasses, forming a sweat-like layer of fog that makes it quite difficult to see.
The foggy-glasses phenomenon can occur either inside in a cool, air-conditioned building or outside on a hot summer day, the bottom line is that the air from your breath is warmer than your eyeglass lenses.
Now, here’s how you can help prevent that from happening.
5 Ways to Avoid Foggy Glasses
#5. Soapy Water
According to a study done by The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, washing your eyeglass lenses with soap and water leaves a thin, invisible layer of film that reduces the “inherent surface tension” of the lens and prevents condensation from forming.
After washing your lenses with soap and water, shake off the excess water, and either 1) let them air dry, or 2) gently wipe them dry with a microfiber eyeglasses cloth.
All About Vision notes to be sure not to use products like shampoo, shaving cream, or toothpaste to avoid damaging your lenses. Regular, old hand soap will do!
#4. Anti-Fog Wipes
Another easy way to prevent your eyeglasses from fogging is to purchase anti-fog wipes or anti-fog cleaning toilettes. Anti-fog wipes are a great solution to foggy glasses that you can take with you anywhere for on-the-go use.
You can order anti-fog wipes from Amazon, or find them at your local Walgreens, CVS, or Walmart. All About Vision also points out that you should take care not to use anti-fog wipes that are designed for cars or for any other purpose other than eyeglasses.
Optician and owner of A Sight for Sport Eyes, Shannen Knight, says “Some work better with different body chemistry, so you may need to try a few brands to see which one works best for you.”
#3. Anti-Fog Sprays
Similar to anti-fog wipes and cleaning toilettes, anti-fog sprays are another useful product to help prevent your eyeglasses from fogging up. Anti-fog sprays are a more eco-friendly and budget-friendly alternative to disposable, single-use wipes.
Anti-fog sprays can also be found on Amazon and at your local drugstore or superstore. As with anti-fog wipes, be sure not to use an anti-fog spray that is designed for use on cars or for anything other than eyeglasses.
Use your favorite anti-fog spray with a microfiber eyeglasses cloth to wipe them dry. If you are more of a glasses-cloth-loser than a glasses-cloth-hoarder, you can pick up some microfiber cloths at your local drugstore, superstore, or order a pack online. Your eye doctor also likely gives them out for free!
#4. Sports or Medical Tape
If you’re looking for more of a “set it and forget it approach”, Cleveland Clinic recommends using sports or medical tape to secure your mask to the bridge of your nose. This way, the warm air from your breath won’t be able to escape through the top of your mask right where your glasses rest on your face.
It is not recommended to use scotch or duct tape in place of sports or medical tape, as tapes that are not meant to adhere to the skin can either be largely ineffective or painful to remove.
While the tape-it-down approach can definitely help, it can also be quite irritating. For a more comfortably sealed fit, we recommend purchasing a face mask with an embedded nose-wire.
#5. Nose-Wire Face Masks
Above all else, the first step to preventing your glasses from fogging up is to wear a mask with an embedded, adjustable nose-wire. Condensation collects on your eyeglasses when warm air from your breath escapes out of the top of your mask.
Help stop your glasses from fogging up at the source by sealing the gap between your face mask and the bridge of your nose with an adjustable nose-wire. We recommend trying one or more of the previously mentioned anti-fog solutions in combination with a nose-wire face mask for the best results.
You can make your own face mask with an embedded nose-wire and filter pocket by following Rasing Noble’s video tutorial on Youtube, or by using Merriment Design’s free printable sewing pattern and step by step guide.
If you aren’t the crafty type, you can purchase a face mask with an embedded nose-wire almost anywhere. Serionix, a leader in the air filtration industry and the creator of Colorfil, has just released a highly breathable face mask with an embedded nose-wire and filter pocket as well. Visit www.colofil.com to check it out!
#6. Try the Serionix face mask which addresses the issue!
Our Serionix face mask was designed by Phd's and engineers to help all of the fit issues that usual face masks have for maximum comfort. The Serionix face mask includes an embedded nose-wire which helps fit the mask around the nose bridge, and convertible straps which can be worn around the head or ear depending on your preference. The face mask is designed to include an insert and be more breathable than many other common face masks. The Serionix face mask includes military-grade cotton fabric to seal it all off. Give it a try and see if it's more comfortable than your current mask!