Wearing a face mask when you’re out in public is still mandatory in South Africa during the Covid-19 lockdown. But, while for many it’s a relatively simple action to take to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, for those who wear eyeglasses, things are a little hazier. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with fogged up glasses when wearing a face mask. There are ways to beat the fog. Here’s how:
What causes foggy lenses?
Anyone who wears corrective eyewear will know the struggle of dealing with foggy lenses in cooler weather. Lenses can get fogged up when air condenses and minuscule water particles develop and attach to the surface of the lens. The problem is amplified when wearing a mask with glasses. As you breathe, warm breath migrates out of the top of your mask and forms condensation when it hits the cooler lens.
For those who wear glasses, having impaired vision from wearing a face mask is far more than just a nuisance. Fogged up lenses can be a safety hazard. When vision is impaired by foggy lenses, the chances of tripping and falling are greater, and so are the chances of being involved in an accident while driving. Foggy lenses can also make you feel quite disorientated because your vision is obstructed. Some people also complain of feeling claustrophobic. It can be that unpleasant that some people have stopped wearing their glasses when they are wearing a mask. Obviously, this is not ideal.
Luckily, there are ways to prevent your lenses from fogging up when wearing a mask. Some are more effective than others, but we suggest giving each tip a try to find which method works for you.
Washing glasses with soapy water and drying them with a microfibre cloth can be helpful but it could affect coatings that are applied to the lenses. Rinse your glasses under clean, tap water before gently drying them with a microfibre cloth. Do not wipe lenses with a tissue. These leave a lint which attracts moisture.
Always use a high technology microfibre cloth when cleaning your lenses. While there are various microfibre type cloths available on the market not all of them are effective in preventing fogging or cleaning lenses without damaging them. Ask your optometrist about the best option for your lenses.
Skip the hacks
While it may be tempting to try a gimmick or a hack you hear from a friend or saw online, these hardly ever work and can damage your lenses in the long run. Do not apply shaving foam to your lenses or use soap to wash them as this can impact coatings that have been applied to the lenses.
Similarly, be cautious about using commercially available de-misting sprays. Check with your optometrist first before using these types of products on your lenses.
Reach for the tape
For a hack that won’t damage your lenses, try tape! Some health professionals apply a strip of kinesiology tape that’s specially designed for use on skin to the top edge of the mask to close the gap. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to come by.
Wear a glasses-friendly mask
If you can’t beat the fog, prevent it. wear a mask with a nose bridge or one that can be shaped to your face to limit the flow of warm air out of the top of your mask as you breathe out.
Invest in the right lenses
If the fog has really got you down, then you can consider investing in a special anti-fog coating for your lenses. Many optometrists offer spectacle lenses that are specifically designed not to fog up. One of the leading technologies right now is SEIKO’s FogLessCoat lens. In contrast to other unsatisfactory anti-fogging solutions on the market, this lens distributes moisture evenly by reducing the surface tension on both sides of the lens. Condensation can thus evaporate more quickly, allowing the lenses to remain transparent all the time. This way, the coating reliably keeps the wearer’s vision sharp, safe and fog-free without having to continually de-mist the lenses manually. This technology works to keep your lenses fog-free when you are cooking, playing outdoor sports as well as when you move from a cool to warmer space
To ensure that the lenses maintain their anti-fog abilities for longer, they must be treated about once a week with FogLess Clean + Protect fluid. Applying it once a week enhances the anti-fog effect, prolongs its durability and makes cleaning the lens easier.
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