5 tips for wearing a mask without your glasses fogging up

5 tips for wearing a mask without your glasses fogging up. image: Getty Images
5 tips for wearing a mask without your glasses fogging up. image: Getty Images

Covid-19 has brought all sorts of challenges we could never have imagined this time last year. If you wear glasses, you have one more challenge to deal with: your lenses fogging up every time you wear a face mask. To help ease your frustration, expert optometrist Llewellyn Anderson from Spec-Savers Umhlanga shares his top tips and tricks for keeping your spectacle lenses fog-free. 

Why do glasses fog up when wearing a face mask?

Due to limited airflow, fogging occurs when wearing a medical or cloth face mask as your breath mostly escapes from the top of your mask. When you exhale, your warm breath comes into contact with your cooler lenses, causing condensation which steams up your lenses and clouds your vision.


Anderson shares his 5 tips for wearing a face mask without your glasses fogging up:

Make sure your mask fits snugly

A snug fitting mask is your first step. Not only does it help to keep you protected against any airborne particles, it also stops too much breath from escaping and fogging your lenses. For the best fit, your mask should be snug against your nose and cheeks, and there shouldn’t be any slack or gaps for the air to escape.

Secure the mask around your nose

Securing your mask around your nose is another way to limit the amount of breath that escapes upwards. Try moving your mask further up your nose and resting your glasses on top of it to help seal the mask. Or try using surgical tape, a pipe cleaner or even a plaster to secure the mask to the bridge of your nose. This helps form a seal to prevent your breath from escaping upwards.


Clean your lenses 

It might be that your lenses are prone to fogging if it’s been a while since they had a good clean. Wash your lenses using a small amount of soap diluted with a lot of water and dry them with a microfibre cloth or let them airdry. Soap reduces surface tension, preventing fog from sticking to the lenses.

Use an anti-fog lens wipe or spray on your lenses

After cleaning your lenses, give them an extra boost with an anti-fog lens wipe or spray. These are specifically designed to repel condensation from your lenses. Otherwise, apply a thin layer of shaving cream to the inside of the lenses, then gently wipe it off, allowing the residual shaving cream to create a thin film that helps prevents fog.

Consider anti-fog lenses

This won’t fix your foggy-lens problem right away, but you might consider buying lenses with an anti-fog coating, which gives you a hassle-free answer to foggy lenses, regardless of whether the obstructed vision is triggered by a face mask or something else.


Anderson says that, while there is no miracle solution for this annoying problem, most of his clients have had success with one or more of these tips. “But if all else fails, or you’re not in the market for anti-fog lenses right now, it might be worth switching to contact lenses until masking up is a thing of the past. Especially if your job requires visual acuity, or you need to do a lot of driving while wearing a mask.”

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