If you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses regularly, then chances are you've already dealt with them fogging up while wearing a face mask. "The warm moist air from your breath rises up and condenses on the lenses," explains Dr. Yuna Rapoport, founder and director of Manhattan Eye. "The same phenomenon occurs when coming in from a cooler environment into a warmer one." Fortunately, Dr. Rapoport says that there are several ways to prevent your glasses from fogging up while wearing a face mask. "The same recommendations for defogging scuba and snorkel masks apply to glasses," she says. Along with several DIY-style tricks you can do at home before putting your mask on, she suggests buying glasses with plastic lenses to help keep fogging to a minimum. "Glasses made with polycarbonate lenses de-mist quicker than those made of glass," Dr. Rapoport explains.
Looking for more tips on how to wear a face mask without your glasses fogging up? We asked Dr. Rapoport for her advice, and here's what she had to share.
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Use a drop of dish soap.
A little dish soap goes a long way to prevent fogging when you're wearing both a face mask and glasses. "Take some dish soap, a single drop is sufficient, and rub it onto both sides of each lens before rinsing it off," Dr. Rapoport says. After letting your glasses air-dry, she says the soap will leave a thin layer of film that prevents the lenses from fogging up when the temperature changes.
Apply a dollop of shaving cream.
Just like it protects your skin from razor cuts, shaving cream can safeguard your glasses from fog; the glycerin in shaving cream creates a protective coating for just about any surface so you can apply it to anything from your bathroom mirror to your eyeglass lenses to stop them from steaming up. "Rub a tiny bit of shaving cream onto each side of the lens then wash it off," explains Dr. Rapoport.
Fold a piece of tissue.
For an on-the-go alternative to dish soap and shaving cream, Dr. Rapoport recommends employing a tissue as a protective barrier to stop your glasses from getting steamy. "Fold a tissue in half and place it between your mouth and the mask," she says. "This will absorb the moist warm air and prevent the glasses from fogging up." For smaller mouths, like a child, simply fold the tissue in four parts for added protection.
Put some tape on it.
To keep the moist air from your breath from making its way onto your glasses in the first place, Dr. Rapoport suggests a trick she uses in the operating room. "Put a piece of tape on top of your mask so it sits closer to your face," she says. "This helps prevent air from escaping upwards towards the glasses." Just remember to stick with nonabrasive tapes, such as medical, athletic, or even band-aids, so your skin won't get irritated.
Adjust your mask accordingly.
When all else fails, you can always adjust your mask in a way that ensures moisture from your mouth doesn't fog up your glasses. You can pull your mask higher on your nose, and under your glasses, to block the airflow. And if your mask has a metal band on the top, try adjusting it until it contours as closely with your face as possible to minimize air leaks and, ultimately, foggy lenses.