Written By: Vered Hazanchuk for the American Academy of Ophthalmology on May. 21, 2020
Know how to wear a face mask
It may be one of the more innocuous problems of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s a nuisance nonetheless: fogged-up eyewear. It happens when warm breath escapes from the top of your mask and lands on the cooler surface of your lens.
When both glasses and masks are required …
Unfortunately, ophthalmologists are treating more and more injuries in people who weren’t wearing safety goggles while masked. They have treated construction workers who suffered ruptured eyeballs after removing foggy safety goggles, and inexperienced homeowners who didn’t think they needed to protect their eyes while doing small projects around the house.
“If there’s an ‘ON’ button or there’s a chemical involved, I always tell my patients to wear eye protection,” says ophthalmologist Rebecca Taylor, MD.
Whether you’re an essential worker on a construction site or just squinting through the fog to see what’s on the grocery store shelf, here are some tips to prevent your face mask from fogging up your eyewear.
Fit your mask to your face
If your mask doesn’t fit your face well, warm air is likely to escape and fog up your lenses. When putting on your mask, make sure to pinch the top of the mask to fit the shape of your nose. If your mask allows it, tighten the sides as well for a good fit.
Use medical or athletic tape to close the gap between the bridge of your nose and the top of your mask. If you don’t have tape, try an adhesive bandage.
Wipe your lenses before wearing them
An anti-fogging solution or even gently washing your lenses with soap and water before wearing them may help. This will keep water droplets from building up and fogging your lenses.
Adjust your glasses
Pushing your glasses forward on your nose will allow more air to circulate and keep your breath from fogging up your vision.
Rest your glasses over your face mask
Try pulling your mask up over your nose and rest your glasses on top of it. This will block the air from escaping and prevent fogging. If you try this, make sure your mask still fits properly over your face. Your nose and mouth should be completely covered.
Explore and share these additional tips on eye safety during the pandemic.