Wondering how to keep your glasses from fogging up when your mask is on? Look no further. If we've learned one thing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it's the importance of wearing a mask. Countless studies have shown over the past eight months that wearing a protective barrier over your nose and mouth — whether it's a standard-issue surgical mask or an N95 respirator — can significantly decrease the odds of catching and transmitting disease. What's more, some research shows that masking up can reduce the severity of an infection if a masked person does contract COVID-19.
But while masks are potentially lifesaving, they can be uncomfortable, often changing your breathing patterns and fogging up your glasses when breath escapes through the top of the mask. Among people who choose not to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many cite discomfort as a key reason why.
Wesley Wilson, a tumor immunologist in Pennsylvania, knows how annoying it can be when your glasses are fogging up. He says fogging is “definitely a problem” among his hospital colleagues, who need to wear protective goggles and surgical masks while on the job. Fortunately, they've also picked up a few helpful hacks for keeping their vision clear while wearing a mask with glasses.
#1: Use Tape
“If you have to keep your mask on for hours, tape works like a charm,” Wilson says. This especially applies to healthcare professionals in his practice who are required to keep their masks on at all times, except during lunch. “If you're putting on your mask and taking it off a lot, tape probably isn't practical — but two small pieces of tape on the cheeks keep the mask fitted closer to your face, and the hot air out of your glasses,” he says.
#2: Fit the Mask to Your Face
While some air leakage is to be expected, wearing a mask that fits securely to your face will prevent glass fogging and filter the virus more effectively since less air is coming in or out. Find surgical masks or N95s that come with a nose bridge, a small, flexible piece of metal or plastic that allows the mask to more closely fit the contours of your face. Nose bridges can be sewn inside masks or affixed to the front.
#3: Adjust Your Mask
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a minor adjustment in how you wear your mask could be enough to prevent fog as well. Simply pull the mask over your nose and rest your glasses on top of your face mask. As long as the mask is fitted close to your face, this should prevent hot air from slipping out.
#4: Spray Your Glasses
A former ice hockey player, Wilson says the protective visor under his helmet would often fog with hot air while he was on the ice during games. Like an ocean diver, he would use de-misting solution or a defogging spray (such as this one) to keep his visor free of fog. The same concept applies to eyeglass fog caused by masking, he says. “You can either buy a spray or you can make your own with either shaving cream or soap and water,” says Wilson. “Wiping some shaving cream on your glasses and then wiping it off will coat them with a similar surface-tension altering compound that prevents fog.”