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How to wear a face mask without fogging up your glasses

Posted: 28 July 2020 4:35 pm
News

Woman in modern office wearing a mask and glasses

Wearing a mask can be extra challenging for people who wear glasses, but we've found 15 tips to make your experience a little easier.

If you’re having trouble wearing a face mask and glasses at the same time, you’re not alone. Wearing a mask can cause your glasses to fog up, making it difficult or impossible to see and requiring you to wipe your glasses off or adjust your mask when you’re out and about.

However, while wearing a face mask daily is a new practice for many of us, the good news is that doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals have been wearing them for years and have a lot of tips to offer when it comes to getting rid of the dreaded glasses fog.

Check out our 15 top tips on how to wear glasses and a face mask comfortably together:

1. Make sure your mask fits

One of the most important factors in preventing glasses fog is the fit of your mask. If your mask has gaps, when you exhale, air will push out through the gaps instead of travelling through the mask as designed. Air that gets pushed upwards will go into your glasses, causing them to fog up.

If you can, buy a cloth mask that fits flat against your nose and cheeks without any large gaps. This will help your breath filter through the fabric of the mask and won’t cause your glasses to fog up. Also, make sure your mask is sitting directly on your face with your glasses on top of the mask.

Unfortunately, a lot of masks come in one-size-fits-all or limited sizes, so read on for additional tips about how to adjust the fit of your mask.

2. Get a mask with a mouldable nose strip

Some masks come with nose bridges or nose strips that you can bend into shape around your nose, helping to eliminate large gaps along your nose and cheeks. If you are making your own mask at home, you can add a nose strip by sewing a twist tie or pipe cleaner into the mask.

3. Apply a strip of tape to the top edge of your mask

If your mask doesn’t have a nose strip, you can use medical or athletic tape to achieve a similar effect by taping down the mask along the bridge of your nose and cheeks. However, make sure you’re using tape that’s specifically designed for use on skin.

People with sensitive skin might want to skip this approach. If your skin around the mask gets irritated, you’ll be more likely to fiddle with it, which will reduce the effectiveness of the mask.

4. Tighten your mask by tying a knot in the ear loops

One popular method of tightening a mask that’s too large emerged earlier this year when a dentist, Dr Olivia Cui, shared a mask hack on TikTok that went viral.

In the video, Dr Cui takes a surgical mask that’s too big for her face and folds it in half lengthwise. She then ties a knot in the ear loops, which causes the sides of the mask to stay close together.

5. Tighten your mask by crisscrossing the ear loops

Another way to adjust a mask that’s too big is to twist the ear loops into an “X” shape before hooking them around your ears. This will help the mask sit closer to your face.

Before you try this method, make sure that you have enough slack in your ear loops. If the loops end up being too small, they can pull uncomfortably on your ears.

6. Try a mask with head ties instead of ear loops

If you ditch the ear loops entirely for a mask with wrap-around head ties, you can get a tighter fit by crossing the head ties over each other and tying them behind your head. The Royal College of Surgeons of England has provided guidance on this method using surgical masks.

7. Add additional ties to your mask

If you can’t find a face mask with head ties or the ear loops of your mask are too small to tie or twist them, you can add longer straps to give you more room for adjustments. While you can glue or even staple straps to your mask, sewing them on is generally a more durable option.

8. Tie a stocking over your mask

Instructions on how to make a mask from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services suggest layering a nylon stocking on top of your mask and tying it around the back of your head to help the mask sit flush on your face.

9. Wash your glasses with soap and water before you put on your mask.

Before you put your mask on, The Royal College of Surgeons of England recommends washing your mask with soap and water. Then, let your glasses air dry or use a soft tissue or microfibre cloth to wipe them dry.

10. Use shaving cream to coat your lenses

Another option to prevent fog is to apply a thin layer of shaving foam to your glasses and using a tissue or microfibre cloth to wipe it off. The shaving cream will leave a film on your lenses that should help prevent moisture build-up.

11. Get a commercial de-fogging spray

You can buy de-fogging or anti-fog sprays that are designed to coat your lenses and stop them from fogging up. However, they’re not all equally effective and some sprays can irritate your eyes. If you’re not sure which product will work for you, check with your optometrist or ophthalmologist

12. Get glasses with anti-fog lenses

Some glasses come with a built-in anti-fog coating. If you’re going to be buying a new pair of glasses soon, check if your lenses have the option to add on an anti-fog coating. Make sure to check if specialised lenses are covered by your optical health insurance.

13. Tuck a tissue under the nose of your mask

Another anti-fog method involves folding up a tissue into a long strip and tucking it into the top of your mask along the bridge of your nose. This can help block air from getting into your glasses. However, if the tissue starts to slip you won’t be able to adjust it without cleaning your hands and taking your mask off, which would be difficult to do while out and about.

14. Slide your glasses down your nose

Moving your glasses farther down the bridge of your nose will create more room behind your glasses and allow more hot air to escape instead of trapping the air between your face and your lenses.

15. Consider switching to contacts

If all else fails and you spend a lot of your time wearing a face mask, consider talking to your doctor about switching to contact lenses or whether laser eye surgery could work for you.

For more tips on using your mask, check out our full guide on how to wear a face mask

More face masks guides and news

Image: Getty Images

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