If you are a glasses wearer, you know the struggle. Walking around when it’s raining, drinking hot soup or a cup of tea and just winter, in general, are challenges, to say the least. (Not to mention the sun in your eyes while driving or the constant slipping of the frames down the bridge of your nose.) Just when we thought we’d gotten the hang of things, Miss ‘Rona came crashing down on our world.
Thanks to the sneaky coronavirus laying dormant and being asymptomatic in some, suddenly we were all forced to wear face masks for the greater good. However, this came with a very annoying side effect for the bespectacled: foggy glasses. Although for near-sighted doctors and nurses this is just a regular day, those not used to wearing a mask have been particularly challenged by all the new hygiene rules and visual hindrance caused by them.
As a (partly) Aegean baby, I have had my fair share of swimming with masks and goggles, which got me thinking: Why can’t I employ some of the methods we used to use to stop goggles from fogging up? (Although the old saliva trick doesn’t seem very sanitary or safe right now, so maybe skip that.)
Especially if this fog incapacitates you and practically leaves you blind, things can get dangerous. Here are some ways that can prevent that dreaded glasses fog:
– Douse them in baby shampoo or soapy water. Just before you put on your face mask, lather your glasses’ lenses with some soapy water and shake off the excess water. Either let them air dry or gently dry them off with a soft, lint-free cloth before putting them back on. This works because the soap leaves behind a thin film that reduces surface tension, hence causing the water molecules (aka moisture from your breath) to evenly spread out into a transparent layer, as stated by trauma doctors Sheraz Shafi Malik and Shahbaz Shafi Malik from the United Kingdom.
– Put a tissue inside the top of the mask. This is a new one I have seen circulating around the internet, and if you do it right, it does work. You need to fold a tissue horizontally and put it between your face and the top of your mask, sitting over the bridge of your nose. This method’s advocates say doing so helps to absorb the moisture from your breath before it hits your glasses.
The good news is, putting a tissue under your glasses keeps them from fogging up when you’re wearing a mask.— Louis Peitzman (@LouisPeitzman) April 9, 2020
The bad news is, haircuts aren’t a thing anymore. pic.twitter.com/2xeBbDkPOt
– Change the way you tie. If you are sporting a face mask that can be tied in the back of your head, researchers DJ Jordan and R Pritchard-Jones from the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in the U.K. suggest changing the way you would normally do things. Instead of tying the top pieces right above your ear, try tying them down below, and for the bottom, do it vice versa to create an “X” on the sides of your face. This, they say, “allows a closer seal over the nose and along the infraorbital ridge, stopping venting at the superior part of the face mask, and forms two lateral 'vents,' allowing exhaled air to escape away.”
– Get a face mask that molds to your nose. Your spectacles fog up because the mask or the face-covering you are wearing redirects your warm breath upward instead of outward and forward, showing up as droplets on your lenses. If the air can’t escape that easily from the top and you have a tighter seal, you can reduce this occurrence. So either get a face mask with a moldable wire at the top or try a nose clip to pinch the top. (If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, give this a pass.)
– If all else fails, try an anti-fog spray. If you don’t like the idea of D.I.Y., turn to a tried-and-true method swimmers use and spray your lenses with some commercial anti-fog spray.
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