Face Masks + Glasses = A COVID Consequence 


Photo by Andrea Duggan

Wearing a mask can cause all kinds of trouble for people with glasses, as the warm air from you mask gets behind the glasses, fogging them up.

Masks. We all use them; we all know them. 

Glasses. We all know them, but not all of us use them. 

About 64% of people wear glasses in the US, according to GlassesCrafters.com right now — and if they wear a mask, then that means 64% of people have a mini weather system going on fogging up their glasses. 

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s article “How to wear a mask and not fog up your glasses,” fog is a result of warm and cold air meeting. That pesky breath comes right out the top of your mask and settles on the surface of your comparatively cooler classes.

Fogging glasses isn’t just annoying; it can also make it harder to learn. Some students are already peering through a screen, so foggy glasses add yet another layer between them and the material they are trying to learn. For those in person, faces are already obscured by masks, so foggy glasses can make them anonymous blobs.  

Of course, students aren’t the only ones with this problem. “My problem is having to choose between squinting because I can’t read small print or peering through fog. Lucky for me, they are just reading glasses, so I can take them off and still see,” said Andrea Duggan, journalism and creative writing teacher.  

The fogging of the glasses could also occur outside of school, not just in school. It could happen at a movie theater, grocery store, and other places where you might wear a mask, as well as your glasses. 

“I’ve learned not to wear them while cooking, the steam from a pot of boiling water will blind you very quickly,” Ms. Duggan advised.  

There are multiple ways to prevent fogging from happening, and some you may have never heard of. Healthline.com has recommended these six different ways to prevent glasses from fogging. 

  1.  Use a nose clip. This method is achievable using household products, like pipe cleaners, paper clips, and twist ties. Ms. Duggan also suggested this method. “First and foremost, to avoid fogging, you need a good seal around your nose, so I look for masks that either have that seam down the middle, so they are more like the shape of your face, or ones that have the little wire you can clamp down around your nose.”
  2. Washing with soapy water. Before you put on your glasses, you can wash them in mild detergent, liquid soap. According to Healthline, “researchers have found that a very thin layer of soap molecules will remain on your glasses, forming a transparent coating that inhibits fog formation.”
  3. Spritz with antifog lens spray. There is such a thing as antifog spray, believe it or not. A spritz of this can keep your glasses from fogging — and you can use this spray on other items, such as goggles, diving masks, and other protective equipment. 
  4. Tuck in your mask. Ms. Duggan uses it all the time. “I try to put the glasses on top of the fabric; for some reason, that helps,” she said. According to Healthline, this method achieves two things. It gives a little more space for airflow behind your glasses and weighs down the mask, redirecting the airflow.
  5. Secure the mask with skin-safe tape. Using a strip of skin-safe adhesive tape can keep your mask in place and can seal the upper edge to prevent fogging of the glasses. 
  6. Anti Fog wipes. Just like antifog spray, these types of wipes can prevent fogging with just one swipe (minus the mist). Goodbye fog!

The pandemic is hard in so many ways. Glasses fogging shouldn’t add to the frustration or stress of the 2020-2021 school year. Let’s make sure that everyone is having a good learning experiencenot a foggy one.