I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in Primary One and they have become a huge part of my identity growing up. But as used to them as I am, there are times when they’ve proven to be a huge inconvenience especially when they fog up. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve spent standing around at the bus stop after alighting, waiting for my glasses to un-fog themselves but it was definitely a daily occurrence.
Since the government’s mandated regulation for face masks was passed, I dreaded having to go on essential runs even if I was starving at home. This was largely due to the fact that putting on a mask for me meant getting fogged up glasses, and it was going to be incredibly inconvenient to have to stop every few minutes just to clean them. So, in order to help us, glasses-wearing folks, here are a few methods that can help us tackle this annoying obstacle when we’re out with a face mask.
METHOD 1: SOAP AND WATER
No, I don’t mean washing your masks but rather washing your spectacles with soap and water before you put on your face mask. According to a 2011 study published in the medical journal the Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, the soap and water method basically suggests that you gently wash your glasses with soapy water and gently dry off your lenses after before wearing your face mask. The method is nothing new of course, as divers are known to adopt a similar approach, using Johnson’s baby shampoo to help defog their masks.
The logic behind this is that the soapy water actually creates a thin film that can temporarily stop the surface tension from our breaths that are directed up by our face masks, which would mean no reason for our glasses to fog up. However, it should be noted that this is not a permanent solution and would have to be repeated a few times a day to ensure a fog-free vision.
METHOD 2: TAPING YOUR MASK TO YOUR FACE
It is hard to adjust a mask especially with fabric masks that don’t always have a nose wire. As such, to prevent air from heading up towards your glasses, you could consider to tape the top of your mask down across the bridge of your nose and across your cheeks.
I tried this method out with my cloth mask using a medical tape that is less sensitive to the skin. It technically works by securely keeping the top of the mask flat against my face though it did feel a little weird to have tape stuck on my face. I walked around for 15 minutes (within and around my home) to see if any air managed to escape but I was able to continue my tasks fog-free. So, if you’re someone who does not mind having a few tape strips on your face, this would make a viable method you can use on your next essential run.
METHOD 3: ANTI-FOG SPRAY
A common method is to use an anti-fog spray that will stop moisture from collecting on your glasses. Similar to the soap and water method, these sprays are designed to help you keep condensation from sticking to your lenses. While it may sound like an easy and effective method to keep foggy lenses at bay, it is important to remember that these are chemically formulated sprays which are not exactly ideal if they are being sprayed on something that sits in close proximity with your eyes.
If you’re still interested in getting an anti-fog spray, there are a few affordable ones under $10 that you can find on Shopee.
METHOD 4: FOLDING DOWN PART OF THE MASK
Supported by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department which led to numerous Japanese YouTube tutorials, the idea is to fold down the top quarter of your face mask to provide extra space for your breath to escape before it hits your glasses.
I tried this method out and while it does seem like an easy enough method to adopt, I find that it defeats the purpose of the mask as the fold already reduces the area covered by the mask. While it isn’t ideal for long essential runs, you could try this method out for yourself if you are just heading out for less than 30 minutes to either walk your dog or pick up your mail.
METHOD 5: TIGHTENING THE NOSE WIRE OF YOUR MASK
This is a tried and tested method that I use each time I wear the surgical type of face mask with the adjustable nose wire. While most people would tend to adjust their masks, leaving a little bit of breathing space around the bridge of their nose, I opt to tighten the gap by pressing down on my nose bridge to ensure the wire takes shape around it. This not only helps to secure the mask in a proper fit, but it also helps to get rid of little open-air gaps which would prevent my breath from travelling upwards to fog my lenses.
Banner image courtesy of Good Housekeeping.