Many people are faithfully wearing masks in order to prevent others from being infected with COVID-19. But while mask-wearing is important for public health, it’s also a big adjustment for a lot of Americans who are adapting to a new garment and sweaty faces. Those of us with glasses have to deal with another problem: fogged-up lenses. When you wear a mask and your warm breath hits the relatively cool surface of your glasses, the result will be fog.
This can be really irritating, especially if you walk from a hot street into an air-conditioned store, suddenly can’t see, and don’t want to handle your glasses without washing your hands first.
There are a number of strategies that have been suggested to keep your glasses, and your vision, clear when you’re wearing a mask.
Use a mask with a nose bridge
If your mask fits loosely over your nose, your breath is certain to escape up to your glasses. Many masks being sold have nose bridges sewn into them — flexible strips that allow you to bend and shape them so they fit your nose. These serve several purposes: they make the masks more effective (because less moisture can escape), make them more comfortable, and they help prevent your breath from hitting your glasses.
If your mask doesn’t have its own bridge, you can make your own using twist ties or pipe cleaners, or you can tape the mask down.
Put your glasses over your mask
A simple hack: just pull up your mask so the top sits higher on your nose, and wear your glasses on top of the material. Any escaping breath should miss your glasses.
Use soap and water
If you don’t have a special coating on your glasses, you could try washing them in soapy water and then letting them air dry or very gently drying them. The idea is that the soap leaves behind a film that prevents glasses from fogging. It’s best to avoid soaps that are made with lotion.
Put a tissue on the inside of the mask
If you tape a folded tissue under your mask at the bridge of your nose, it may absorb escaping moisture.
Buy a commercial anti-fogging product
There are a number of commercially available anti-fogging sprays and wipes out there that may be worth trying, but we can’t vouch for their effectiveness.