Face mask fogging up your eyeglasses? Check out these solutions to see what’s best for you

Face masks help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus but create another problem of their own — foggy eyeglasses. A short cleaning routine repeated a few times throughout the day is the prescribed antidote for your eyes.

When exhaling with a face mask on, the hot air coming from your mouth is pushed up and inconveniently onto the lenses of those who wear glasses.

The concern for this issue was widespread enough before the pandemic that the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published its solution in the academic journal back in 2011 to help out “operating theatre workers” who’s spectacles became hard to use when wearing face masks.

Washing your glasses with soapy water and shaking off the excess, said the journal, is the best way to combat hazy lenses. Using a soft cloth is also an acceptable form of drying.

The soapy solution creates a thin film over the glasses that prevents them from misting up.

The only catch is that this process has to be done a couple of times to refresh the film on the lenses.

Other solutions are effective, though involve tinkering with the face mask or using potentially irritating chemicals.

That includes, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

  • Creating a flexible “nose” to reduce the amount of moisture your breathing creates.
  • Folding down the top quarter of the mask to increase the distance between the covering and your glasses.
  • Putting a folded tissue on the bridge of your nose to absorb some of your breath.

But the article cautions that the “nose” needs to be done right so the paper clip, pipe cleaner or bobby pin doesn’t come out of place and scratch your face.

And the folded tissue should be done right the first time, or you’ll have to get in the habit of constantly adjusting it.

There is also the option of using the anti-fog spray that swimmers favor.

Just be mindful that the spray’s chemicals may bug your eyes.

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Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

Sandy Kozel

Sandy Kozel is an anchor at WTOP. She came to WTOP after a long career as an anchor/correspondent with the Associated Press. She also worked in local radio in the Cleveland area — and in Buffalo, where she was an award-winning anchor and reporter with WGR Radio and entertainment reporter at WGRZ-TV.

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