Blog post by: Eye Physicians of Long Beach

Leaving your house means a whole new normal these days: do you have a mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer? And when you do have to wear a mask, things can get a little complicated.

For those that wear glasses, it can mean a whole lot of frustration. Keep reading for some tips on how to keep your glasses from fogging up while you wear a mask!

1. Try treating your glasses with shaving cream or soapy water

GIF of person washing hands

Two things that you probably already have in your home are shaving cream and some soap. Both of these items can actually be used to treat your lenses.

What does treating your lenses with soap or shaving cream have to do with them fogging up? A lot, actually!

The idea behind it is you use shaving cream, soap, or some other substance that acts as a surface-active agent. This agent then leaves behind a thin film on the lenses.

The film helps prevent fog from appearing, which helps if you’re wearing a mask and breathing in and out a lot. The key is you let the surface-active agent air-dry.

Don’t try and wipe it with a cloth to move the substance around. The disadvantage of trying this?

It doesn’t last very long, so you’ll have to do it over and over again. You may only want to try this method if you have nothing else around or on hand and you’re desperate!

2. Buy anti-fog sprays or wipes

Glasses Mask GIF by hateplow

If you’re more of a planner, you can try to buy some commercial anti-fogging wipes or sprays. Since glasses fogging up are a common problem right now, they are difficult to get your hands on.

Check on Amazon or other online retailers to see if you can have them shipped to you. The idea behind these products is the wipes contain a combination of silicone compounds, which are very absorbent, and then they are mixed with ethanol.

Wipe the underside of your glasses with the wipe. Once the alcohol in the wipe evaporates, it leaves behind a thin transparent layer.

This thin transparent layer actually resists fogging. Make sure to reapply wipes after about three to five days.

3. If you can, try to tighten your mask

Face Health GIF by RZ Mask

If you’re wearing a cheap, disposable mask, there may not be a way to tighten it. But if you’re wearing a medical-grade mask or something that’s higher-quality, you should be able to tighten it.

When a face mask fits correctly, it should fit snugly against your face. You should not have air going out the top.

If it feels too loose, you can adjust the ear loops or the ties so that the mask fits more snugly. If you feel any air going in or out of your mask, that’s another sign that it’s too loose and needs to be tightened.

A mask that fits won’t have any air going out the top.

4. Rest your glasses on top of your face mask by pulling your mask up

Foggy glasses from wearing masks

If you try this method, you need to make sure your mask is still covering both your nose and your mouth. If it’s not, then it’s not protective.

When you pull your mask up, pull it up over the bridge of your nose as high as you can. Once you do this, you can then let your glasses rest right on top of your face mask.

This method may not work for everyone and depends on how large your glasses are, as well as what style they may be.

5. Create a fitted nose in your mask

If you have a medical-grade mask, your face mask may already come with a “fitted nose”. This is merely a metal nose clip that allows you to limit how much moisture comes in and out of your mask.

For those that are wearing homemade masks, you can instead sew a fitted nose into your mask. To do this, you’ll need a flexible object like a pipe cleaner, bobby pin, or paper clip.

Using one of these, you can then create a “fitted nose”. If you do try this, it’s not as simple as just bending one and adding it to an existing mask.

If you do that, you could end up scratching your face or nose! Unfortunately, the smartest way to do this while avoiding injury is to fasten the flexible object inside the mask tightly.

There are Youtube tutorials online that you can watch if you want to learn how to add a fitted nose to your face mask!

6. Tape your mask (carefully)

Fashion Protect Mask GIF by Muyloco

Going along the same lines as making sure your mask fits properly, another tip that doctors use is tape to prevent their glasses from fogging up. Now, if you’re going to use tape, the tip here is to do so carefully.

You don’t want to accidentally find out that you’re allergic to the adhesive in the tape, so first, before you do anything else, make sure to test the tape on a different part of your body. If you don’t break out in hives or any other concerning symptoms, you can move on to taping your mask.

You can use almost any kind of tape, but stay away from duct tape, and packing tape to be safe. Once you’ve found a safe kind of tape, you can tape your mask across the bridge of your nose, as well as across your cheeks.

This might be a bit much if all you’re doing is running to the grocery store for a few things, but if you know that you’ll need to wear a mask for several hours, it’s definitely something to consider!

One important note is if these don’t work for you, it may be because of any anti-glare, anti-fingerprint, or anti-smudge coatings that you have on your glasses already. But it’s certainly worth a try if having foggy glasses while wearing a mask is starting to drive you insane!

Have other questions about your eyes or how to keep your eyes safe during this pandemic? Schedule an appointment at Eye Physicians of Long Beach in Long Beach, CA with one of our talented doctors today!