We are hearing this a lot lately! Sadly, we may be wearing these masks for some time. We are going to have to learn how to manage this annoying problem.
Our glasses are fogging because of simple chemistry. When our warm, moist breath hits the cooler lens surface of our glasses, the gas state of our breath condenses into the liquid state and results in the ‘fog’ on our glasses. The ‘fog’ stays on our glasses because of surface tension. To eliminate, or at least lessen, the fogging, decreasing the surface tension of our breath will help.
Although we cannot actually change the surface tension of our breath as it leaves our mouth or nose, we can change it on our glasses lens surface. Soap works to do this! Washing your glasses with warm (not hot) soapy water will work – just like soap cuts grease when washing dishes. There are also several commercially available products that work like soap. The advantage of these products is that they last much longer. The product we like and have used for years is called Cat Crap – really, that is the name!
Some of the advanced lens surface anti-glare and scratch coatings make soap and Cat Crap less effective. Make sure your glasses are nice and clean. Any debris on the lens will provide more ‘cling’ for the fog.
Some anti-fog products may irritate some people with allergies or sensitivities, so be careful.
There are some ways to lessen the amount of warm, moist breath that gets on your lenses.
- make sure the mask is tight against your nose – a wired mask will help with this
- slide your glasses down your nose just a little bit
- try attaching a Kleenex to the top, inside edge of your mask to absorb the moisture
Wearing contact lenses is also an option that will completely avoid having to wear glasses at the same time as wearing a mask.
Let’s all hope that we do not have to wear the masks for too long!
Hang in there!