How Do You Wear a Facemask and Stop Your Glasses from Fogging Up?

April 23, 2020 Topic: Health Blog Brand: Coronavirus Tags: HealthFacemasksCOVID-19Coronavirus

How Do You Wear a Facemask and Stop Your Glasses from Fogging Up?

Coronavirus outbreaks mean masks are essential in public. But if you wear glasses that's not so easy. 

Amid the coronavirus, both the federal government and state governments have recommended that those venturing from their homes wear face masks while doing so.

The face masks can be improvised or homemade, and some have had a lot of fun using creativity in making them. But there are some drawbacks to wearing such a mask. For iPhone users, hard to get your FaceID to work while wearing a mask, although there are some workarounds.

Many others have noticed another complication: For those who wear glasses, the lens tend to get fogged up while their nose and mouth are covered with a mask. This is especially annoying while attempting to exercise.

An MSN article this week suggests that those having this problem should tighten the fit of the mask, or perhaps adjust their mask to put their breath exhaust lower.

The New York Times reports that health workers who wear masks regularly are used to this problem, and even have some advice for the general public. These include, once again, tightening the mask, or perhaps adding pipe cleaners to the top of their homemade fabric mask, to simulate the bendable metal strips used on medical-grade masks. Another option is to use tape. The Times, though, does not advise cleaning the fog from glasses by spitting on them.

There are also specific anti-fogging products on the market, such as FogTech Dx, although the Times warns that this can get expensive.

Believe it or not, there is a medical journal article about this very topic, from 2011, years before the coronavirus outbreak. Published by The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England and hosted on the website of the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health the article, authored by Sheraz Shafi Malik and Shahbaz Shafi Malik of the U.K., is titled "A simple method to prevent spectacle lenses misting up on wearing a face mask."

"Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess," the document says. "Then, let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn."

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. 

Photo was taken upon entering a Target retail store in Frederick, MD.