Tips to keep your glasses from fogging
Whether you wear a face mask to protect yourself from viruses or are required to wear one at work, you probably noticed that as soon as you place this item over your nose and mouth, your lenses instantly fog up.
While it may be a minor issue for some, it could be a hazard for others who depend on their vision to perform risky tasks, either at home or at work. But far from being unavoidable, you can take action to prevent your glasses from fogging up while wearing a mask.
Here are a few hacks and solutions to help you live a fog-free life!
But first… Why do glasses fog in the first place ?
Those who wear glasses are all too familiar with the condensation that takes over vision as lenses fog up during simple and common tasks, like sipping a cup of coffee, working out at the gym or stepping outside on a cold and snowy day.
So what is the science behind this phenomenon? To put it simply, condensation occurs on eye lenses when hot air lands on the lenses’ cold surface and changes into tiny drops of water, forming a thin film that you see as fog.
The same thing happens when wearing a mask. Your warm breath escapes through the top of the mask, hits your lenses and causes them to fog up. Aside from the pesky frustration, foggy glasses can be dangerous, particularly for those who operate heavy machinery and who work in jobs that require clear vision at all times, like first responders to emergency situations.
So what can you do to fight fog and keep your lenses clear at all times?
5 tricks to fight foggy glasses
There are a couple of tricks that you can try to avoid the steam room effect while you’re exercising, working or just living life behind a mask.
1. Make sure you have the right fit
The best way to keep your glasses from fogging is to limit the amount of warm air that can hit the lenses, which means making sure your face mask has a snug fit along the edge that runs across the bridge of your nose.
To achieve this, you can buy masks with a nose bridge or that can be shaped to fit your face. If you have chosen to make your own mask, you can create a better fit for them by sewing twist ties into the top so they can be molded to fit the nose better.
2. Wash your glasses with soap and water
This defogging trick is often used by doctors in the emergency room and it comes from an article published in the medical journal Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1).
It consists of washing your spectacles with soapy water, shaking off the excess and then allowing the lenses to air-dry. Why is it effective? The mix of soap and water leaves behind a film that acts like a fog barrier.
If you have special coatings on your lenses, make sure you check with your optician before trying this hack, so you don’t damage them.
3. Tape your mask down (with sports or medical tape)
Another trick used by healthcare professionals, is to tape your mask across the bridge of your nose and across your cheeks, using either sports or medical tape. This creates a better seal and prevents any warm air from reaching your lenses.
If you have sensitive skin, make sure you test the tape beforehand to make sure that it doesn’t cause irritation. You can also use special tape for sensitive skin.
4. Use your glasses to seal the top of your mask
Rather than using tape, you can try just pushing your glasses forward on your nose and using them to seal and shape the mask to your face. All you have to do is place your glasses on top of the material that covers your nose.
Try moving your head to make sure your glasses don’t slide off. This simple trick should prevent air from escaping through the top of your mask and forming fog on your lenses.
5. Use a folded tissue (between your mouth and the mask)
Lastly, you can try folding a tissue horizontally and placing it in between the top of your mask and your face so that it can absorb the moisture from your breath before it fogs your glasses.
If you pick this method, make sure you change masks frequently, as they might get wet or soiled more rapidly.
Optifog: a fog-free vision for a free way of life
While these small hacks can help you limit the condensation on your glasses, they are not 100% effective and are constraining to maintain in the long run. Choosing lenses with an anti-fog coating - like Essilor’s Optifog lenses - is a more sustainable and practical solution to enjoy a fog-free vision for a new way of life.
But how does the Optifog system work?
Optifog lenses are equipped with anti-fog top layers and come with a smart cloth with anti-fog molecules. It’s very easy to use: all you have to do is wipe your glasses as usual with the Optifog Smart Textile (cloth) to activate the lenses’ anti-fog properties.
By doing so, droplets that would usually inhibit your vision spread uniformly across the lens in an invisible and fog-free layer. In addition to repelling fog, it offers protection against reflections, scratches, and UV rays, offering an unobstructed vision at all times.
Finally, the Optifog system is reliable in any situation, even in extreme conditions. While most premium fog-free lenses on the market take over 5 minutes to defog when exposed to temperatures between 0°C and 23°C, and over 1 minute when subjected to 52°C for 15 seconds; Essilor Optifog system takes less than a second to eliminate fog in both conditions.
It’s so quick that you won’t even have time to notice fog, allowing you to live a new dynamic and worry-free life behind a mask.
Do you want to find out more about Optifog? Find your nearest eye care professional now!
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(1) Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3293317/