The COVID-19 pandemic has, and continues to have, a tremendous impact on the way we navigate our daily lives. One of these changes it has brought about are mandatory face masks or face coverings in indoor public spaces: from grocery stores to on board public transportation.
As we move toward an optimistic future of vaccines and opening back up, face masks will likely be a part of our “new normal” for at least the foreseeable future.
Wearing a mask presents one frustrating issue for glasses-wearers: the fogging up of glasses, particularly aggravated by cold weather. This fog is caused by warm breath escaping from the top of your mask, and lands on the cooler surface of your lens.
OAO member, Dr. Wes McCann has a few solutions for those who are balancing the combination of masks and glasses.
The easiest solution is to seal down your mask around your nose or cheeks. McCann recommends using surgical tape or other bandage that won’t irritate the skin.
“You can also opt for a mask that has a wire across the nose, so you can tighten the upper edge, meaning less air can escape. You can mould it to your face a little bit more,” explains Dr. McCann. If your mask doesn’t fit your face well, warm air is likely to escape and fog up your lenses. When putting on your mask, make sure to pinch the top of the mask to fit the shape of your nose. If your mask allows it, tighten the sides as well for a good fit. Another benefit to have a well-fitting mask is the better protection it offers you.
Dr. McCann also suggests investing in a pair of lenses with an anti-fog coating, or the cheaper alternative: anti-fog sprays and wipes.
“You wipe them in the morning, and they last for about 24 hours,” McCann says. “That’s a more inexpensive option.”
You should also make sure your glasses are fitted properly and get them adjusted so they sit better on your nose or can go on top of your mask.
Some glasses-wearers have found choosing contact lenses rather than glasses when they will be wearing a face mask for a long period of time to be an effective solution.
As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we continue to remain hopeful that the everyday annoyances we face balancing our glasses and face masks to one day be a distant memory.