Putting An End To A COVID Mask Frustration: Foggy Glasses

Sep 30, 2020, 10:24 PM | Updated: 11:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It’s a complaint KSL has heard over and over during the pandemic, and with colder temperatures coming this time of year, it’s going to get worse. We’re talking about face masks or coverings fogging up eyeglasses.

When you wear a mask and it sends your warm breath across the cooler surface of your lenses, you’re going to get fog. So, we asked an eye and vision care expert on how we can avoid it.

“So, air is going to follow the path of least resistance, whether it’s at the sides down below or up towards our eyes,” explained Dr. Jeff Pettey, an ophthalmologist with the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center. “So, anything you can do to get a tighter seal will improve the fogging.”

A quick, easy seal for a cloth mask can be made with a piece of tape that closes the gap between the bridge of your nose and the top of the mask. Sure, you could use scotch, masking or even duct tape – if you’re really desperate – but there are better options.

“So, the plastic bandage tape can go across but sometimes that leaves a little bit of an adhesive,” said Pettey. “They also have paper bandage tape that’s used for skin that you can get at the pharmacy. Those will basically stop all the flow through.”

Dr. Jeff Pettey, an ophthalmologist with the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center, shows KSL’s Matt Gephardt things Utahns can do to avoid fogging up their glasses. (KSL-TV)

He also recommends using masks that fit tight, so it can push the air out of the bottom or its sides – away from glasses. Even better, a mask with flexible wires embedded in its top that can be molded to fit snug around your nose.

“There are some masks that also have a little bit of a seal to it or perhaps something that might have a little foam,” he added. “All of these will improve the seal and decrease the amount of fogging beyond the masks or the glasses themselves.”

There are a few tricks you can do with your glasses, too. You can simply rest them on your mask to improve that seal. Or, wear them further down your nose so they sit further away from the airflow coming from the top of the mask.

But a better solution is using a commercial spray-on coating, gel or wipe on your lens before you put your glasses on. Those typically use a chemical to reduce the ability of the warm, moist air coming from your nose or mouth to stick on the lenses and form tiny fog droplets.

Don’t use anti-fogging products engineered for car windshields. Those could ruin your glasses.

Also, when it’s time for a new pair, you can buy new eyeglasses that have a permanent layer of anti-fog coating built-in.

“Surgeons, we’ve known this for a long time, and we will purchase anti-fog coating because we’re going to be wearing glasses during surgery,” Pettey said. “But for the rest of us who are wearing masks for the first time, this is something that’s new to all of us.”

We’ve also seen some homemade remedies, too.

A study from the Royal College of Surgeons of England found a simple solution in the form of dish soap.

The studys authors said washing a pair of glasses with soapy water and letting them air dry leaves a thin film that reduces surface tension on the lenses, allowing the droplets of moisture from a person’s breath to distribute evenly, instead of forming a cluster of fog  making it harder to see.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

A rendering of a cell site simulator. (KSL TV)...
Daniella Rivera and Annie Knox

Utah placed limits on police use of spy tech; Do they go far enough?  

For months, the KSL Investigators have been asking questions about spy technology law enforcement uses but doesn’t want to talk about. What exactly does the high-tech tool do, and what happens to your information if it gets caught up in a digital dragnet?
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO - Shown are a smartphone and computer....
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Why you should stop using your work computers, phones for personal use

Many Utahns are still working from home, spending a lot of time on their work computers. That can make it easy to forget it's not a personal computer. But KSL's Matt Gephardt has three reasons why you should use your work computers for one thing — work.
2 days ago
fireworks injuries study...
Matt Gephardt

Study: More people need E.R. care after playing with fireworks

A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission may throw a wet blanket on your 4th of July plans – or at least make you think about bringing a wet blanket with you just in case your family’s celebration adds to a troubling trend.
4 days ago
Peter Ingle talking to Matt Gephardt...
Matt Gephardt & Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Too risky to insure? Why your homeowner’s insurance could go up in smoke

There are good reasons for an insurance company to drop your homeowner’s coverage. But what happens when you’re dropped for something you have no control over? KSL Investigator Matt Gephardt went out to find: can they do that?
5 days ago
FILE - Thousand gather at the Utah State Capitol to support a woman's right to choose. (KSL TV)...
Daniella Rivera

‘It was hastily passed’: Medical, legal experts raise concerns about Utah’s abortion trigger law

Senate Bill 174, passed by the Utah Legislature in 2020, was crafted, in part, to send a message. Now, medical and legal experts are sounding alarm bells about how it will work in practice.
8 days ago
FILE - Credit and deposit cards on a computer keyboard. Electronic commerce, business. Online shopp...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Americans shy away from using credit cards abroad, missing out on best exchange rates

As COVID-19 wanes, travel agencies are seeing a massive spike in bookings as folks look to spread their wings and travel abroad.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Putting An End To A COVID Mask Frustration: Foggy Glasses