With face coverings now mandatory on public transport in Ireland and strongly recommended in other situations, such as when visiting shops, we're all having to quickly adapt to the new norm. One issue those of us who are not blessed with 20/20 vision are facing is the question of how to stop your glasses fogging up when wearing a mask. While there are some anti-fog sprays available to purchase, what if you do not have one to hand or have found them to be inadequate?
The problem with trying to find a universal solution is that every person's face and nose structure is different, and there are of course many different designs for face coverings too. From our own experiments it would seem that it's an issue that is difficult to eradicate but there are a couple of different things that scan be done to greatly reduce the amount of fog that builds up. Here are a few things you can try:
Make sure your mask is not on upside down
This may seem too obvious to include but sometimes it can be confusing to know which is the top or bottom of your mask. It may not make a difference for some face coverings but many masks you purchase will have a little wire sown into the fabric on one side.
This is the top of your mask and you should mould the wire fitting around the bridge of your nose as tightly as possible when first putting on your mask.
Try out different mask designs
As we've just mentioned, the tighter the mask fits around your nose then the better your experience will be when it comes to glasses fogging. Therefore it can be useful to experiment with different masks if you can.
Some of the rewearable face masks that are available to purchase can provide a better fit at the top and ease some fogging issues.
The folded up tissue method
Having tested various "hacks" we found this method to work best. Simply take a tissue and fold it over a couple of times to create a strip. Carefully place the tissue inside the top of your mask as you are putting it on. Make sure your mask is well fitted so that the tissue does not slip.
Bob's your uncle! You can see how it's done in the video below.
Wash your glasses with soapy water
It may sound mad but as allaboutvision.com reference, a study in The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England discovered that washing glasses in soapy water can create a film on the lens which stops your glasses from misting up once you put your mask on. They say:
Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess. 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.
However many websites- including allaboutvision.com - recommend that you do not use soaps that contain lotions, and there is some contrary advice online with regard to using washing up liquid because of the possibility that some can damage the coating on your lens in the long term. It is best to consult your own optician if you have any questions.
We found that while this method did not completely stop glasses from fogging up it did bring about a reduction.
There are a variety of others you can try and you may find work better for you. Some of the common solutions include creating a seal along the top of your mask by taping it to your face or twisting the elastic that loops around your ears into a figure of eight if you find that the mask is slightly loose.
For us, the tissue method inside a well fitted mask provided the best result but hopefully some of the above methods can help you as we try to keep ourselves and each other safe throughout the pandemic. For more information on when and how you should wear your face covering you can visit the HSE website here.