How to stop your glasses fogging up while wearing a face mask

As the wearing of face coverings and masks becomes mandatory in our daily lives, we look at ways to stop your glasses fogging up whilst wearing one.

Why do glasses fog up when wearing a face mask?

Due to the limited airflow, glasses fogging tends to be more common when wearing a medical or cloth face mask because your breath mostly escapes from the top of your mask. When you exhale, your warm breath comes into contact with your cooler lenses, which steams up your lenses and clouds your vision. This steam also creates excess moisture around your glasses which reduces the grip of your nose pads, and makes it easy for them to slip down your face.

Here are some top tips for fog-free glasses:

It’s a good idea to try these tips before leaving the house to ensure your mask is secure and you don’t have to fiddle with it or touch your face once you’re out in public.

1. Make sure your mask fits snugly

A tightly fitting mask is the first thing that you need to check for. Not only does this help to keep you protected against any airborne particles, but it also stops too much breath from escaping and fogging your lenses. For the best fit, your mask should be snug against your nose and cheeks, and there shouldn’t be any slack or gaps for the air to escape. If your mask is not tight enough when you first put it on, try tightening the straps for a secure fit or opting for a smaller size.

2. Secure the mask around your nose

Securing your mask around your nose is another way to limit the amount of breath that escapes upwards. Try moving your mask further up your nose (if this is comfortable for you) and resting your glasses on top of it to help seal the mask. If this does not work, or your mask cannot be pulled this high, try using a small piece of surgical tape to secure the mask to the bridge of your nose. This helps form a seal to prevent your breath from escaping upwards.

3. Think your mask is too big? Tighten it with the ear loops

If your mask doesn’t fit tightly, you can try adjusting it yourself. If you have enough slack in the ear loops, try twisting them into an ‘X’ shape and then putting them around your ears. With the self-tying face masks, you can adjust it yourself so that the mask fits closer to your face — just make sure you don’t tie them so tight that you get red marks behind your ears.

4. Stop your glasses from slipping down your nose

Glasses constantly slipping down your nose can be a pain, so why not try wrapping the string of the mask around the sides of your glasses rather than your ear. This might help to make your glasses and mask more secure — just be careful when taking off your glasses as the mask will be attached. It might be that your glasses are slipping down because your frames are not fitting you as well as they did, this can happen over time as we use them day in and day out – they may simply need adjusting. If so, just call your local opticians and they’ll be able to adjust them for you, though at the moment this may be by appointment only.

5. Breathe downwards into the mask

Instead of fiddling with your mask and trying to adjust it, you might find that changing your breathing helps just as well. To prevent your glasses from steaming up, try to push the air downwards when you exhale. It might take a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s a pretty simple solution.

6. Add a folded tissue to absorb moisture

Fold a tissue into a strip and then pop it inside the top of your mask or tape it in place so it fits securely over your nose – the tissue should absorb the excess moisture.

7. Clean your lenses

It might be that your lenses are prone to fogging if it’s been a while since they had a good clean. Using a cloth and cleaning spray, or, if they’re particularly dirty or smeared, put a small drop of washing-up liquid on the lenses and rub lightly with your fingers. Then rinse them with warm (not hot) water and gently dry with a soft tissue.

8. Adjust your glasses

It may seem a little counterintuitive, but pushing your glasses down on your nose slightly will create more space between your lenses and your eyes, allowing for more air to circulate and keeping your breath from fogging up your vision.

9. Switch to contact lenses

If none of the above tips are helpful, it might be worth switching to contact lenses for the time being. This eliminates any worry that your vision might be impaired by steamy lenses, which is especially important if you’re at work where it might be difficult to keep defogging your lenses.

Is this an issue for you? What solution works best for you?

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5 days ago
Thanks for voting!
If you want to have non steamed up glasses, wear a fitted mask, not the cheap rubbish bought everywhere, which won't protect you or anyone else from anything.
26th Jul 2020
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You shouldn't use washing up liquid to clean glasses. It can damage lens coatings, making them unusable. Just use a wet lens cloth, under running warm water. Works perfectly but doesn't damage coatings. Being clean doesn't stop fogging though, in my experience.
Having varifocal lenses means I can't slide them down my nose so I'm stuck with it.
25th Jul 2020
Thanks for voting!
try cleaning glasses with fairy liquid
25th Jul 2020
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Tried some of these and they work to a certain degree. I'm having more of a problem with the mask loops getting caught up with my hearing aids when taking off the mask.
7th Aug 2020
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I have that same issue, I found that using those little strips with buttons ( Ear protectors) to wrap the elastic around my H/aids stay in place and the mask fits better reducing steaming up.
24th Jul 2020
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