As anyone who wears glasses will know, it’s easy to suddenly end up on the set of Silent Hill. And by that we mean, for your glasses lenses to fog up so dramatically you feel like you’re groping through the mist, unable to see anything in front of you. This problem is only exacerbated by wearing a face or surgical mask.

Covid was a really great time for glasses wearers.

Luckily, there are some ways to keep your glasses from fogging with a face mask. We’ve put together our top tips so you no longer feel like you’re in a horror movie every time you breathe out a little too hard. Plus, don’t forget to keep your glasses clean, or you’ll find yourself in even more trouble.

Why do your glasses fog up when you wear a mask?

man with fogged up glasses and mask

Whether you’re wearing a mask for work, or coronavirus, or even because you’re ill and kind enough not to infect the rest of us, you’ll know it’s a difficult accessory if you’re a glasses wearer. As soon as you breathe your glasses immediately fog up like you’re in Dead by Daylight and you can’t see the killer… or anyone else.

This is thanks to condensation. Condensation is the process by which water vapor in the air turns into liquid water when it cools down. It forms tiny water droplets and mist on surfaces like drinks or your glasses.

Fortunately, on drinks, it doesn’t affect your ability to see straight. Unless it’s not just water in that cup…

Our breath contains moisture, and when that warm breath hits the cool glass of your lenses, condensation forms and your glasses fog up. Unfortunately, that’s only exacerbated by the use of face masks which force that air directly upwards straight into the path of your lenses.

Horus X Tip: Dirty glasses make the situation worse! Make sure you’re keeping your glasses clean with our top tips.

How to prevent glasses from fogging with a mask

So how do you keep wearing glasses and a face mask without the former fogging up?  

Unfortunately, the advice to simply “stop breathing” only helps for about 30 seconds (if you have good lung capacity), and doesn’t fix the problem. We also don’t advise you stop breathing altogether to help prevent fogging; if you do, you’ll have much bigger problems than your glasses.

Luckily, we know how to help and have some top tips to share.

😷A well-positioned mask reduces the risk of fogging

woman wearing mask and fogged up glasses

The best way to stop that hot mouth air (yummy) from hitting your lenses and fogging them up is simply by readjusting your mask’s positioning. To prevent air from escaping the top of your mask and heading in a direct line to your glasses, you should limit where it can escape, particularly at the top of your nose.

There are several ways to do this:

  • Make sure your mask is fitted correctly following the instructions that accompany it. In many cases, fogging is caused by incorrect positioning. After all these years of covid, you’d think we’d have figured out how to put on a mask correctly by now.
  • Choose a mask with an adjustable nose clip or nose wire that keeps it in place and prevents hot air leaking out and rising.
  • If you’re able, trap the edges of your mask under the bottom of your lens frame.
  • If the mask is too big for your tiny face, try tying a knot in its elastic for a better and tighter fit.
  • Try using surgical tape or a separate nose clip to better seal the top of your mask against your face.
  • If all else fails, the simplest solution is often the easiest. Breathe through your nose instead of your mouth! It’s better for your health and will reduce the humidity and temperature of the exhaled air so you no longer feel like you’re getting weirdly personal with your own breath.
  • Choose a suitable glasses frame. We’re not only talking about ensuring your glasses perfectly fit your face shape, but also and above all, a frame that leaves a good amount of space between your lenses and your face. This will give you better air circulation and will help you feel cooler when you’re wearing a mask. We always suggest choosing an effective pair of glasses to protect you from blue light, well, these work to help prevent fogging too!

Other methods to help prevent fogging up your glasses

fogged up glasses held in hand

It’s not just all about mask positioning. There are other ways you can lower the risk of foggy glasses and dramatic overtures.

These might not be the most attractive ways to help prevent fogging but they are effective…. And no one knows what’s going on underneath that mask anyway.

  • 🤧 Use a tissue: Don’t start waving it through the air like you’re David Blaine. Instead, use it to help absorb moisture from exhale air by folding it horizontally and placing it between the bridge of your nose and the top of your mask. This will catch the hot air and reduce glasses fogging. We recommend a clean tissue, not one your grandma keeps stuffed up her sleeve.
  • 🩹 The band-aid: This is arguably the most effective method to prevent fogging up your glasses while wearing a mask. Just like using surgical tape, a tissue or nose clip, a band-aid will allow your mask to stick better to your face and prevent air leaks. We recommend choosing one to your liking. If you want a band-aid with dinosaurs, you get a band-aid with dinosaurs.

💡A note from Horus X: Some sites will recommend using shaving cream or soap to avoid fogging up your glasses. DO NOT DO THIS. These methods can actually cause damage and scratches on your glasses, costing you a lot more money in the long run.  

🧴Wearing masks and glasses: What products help prevent fogging?

Finally, don’t forget there are also special products designed to reduce or prevent your glasses fogging when wearing a mask. You can usually find them in the form of a spray, or wipes at your local opticians. It’s not necessarily the most eco-friendly choice, but it is effective in preventing fogging and improving eye health.

How do I keep my glasses from fogging with a face mask? Final thoughts

Unfortunately masks and glasses are not a happy couple. But they’re also a couple that it’s impossible to divorce in some cases, so therapy – or preventative measures – are essential.

Fogging of the lenses is caused by condensation from warm exhaled air, which seeps through the top of an improperly placed mask. Therefore, your first port of call should always be to check your masks’ positioning and secure it with an integrated nose clip if necessary. We also recommend trying to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.

Several other tips we’ve covered here can also help prevent fogging, such as band-aids or using a tissue. We strongly recommend staying away from soapy water or shaving foam as this will cause irreparable damage to your lenses.

Finally, there are wipes and anti-fog spray available at your local opticians or specialist store. If all else fails, they’re certainly worth a try!

Tagged: Confort visuel