Fogged glasses suck. The new normal of wearing masks means those of us who wear specs have to deal with our breath fogging up glasses. It’s one of the most annoying things about masks for me.
You put one on, take a deep breath and you get this.
It’s no fun. However, since it seems like mask wearing isn’t going away anytime soon, it’s something I had to learn to deal with. I tried a few things but it’s only recently that I came upon something that actually works!
Why do glasses fog up? It’s simple, the mask doesn’t block your breath completely and that warm breath travels up through the top of the mask and below your glasses causing fogging. It’s annoying and can be dangerous if you’re doing something that requires you to see well.
I’ve tried a few things to deal with it.
The one I see recommend everywhere is the soap thing. You wash your glasses with some soap then let them air dry leaving a thin film of soap on the lenses.
The result? It certainly helps a bit and is worth trying. However, for me, the results weren’t always successful. I still got a good amount of fogging and I found the process a bit annoying given that it was hard to figure out when I had enough of a film for it to matter. I’d give it a try but for me, it was inconsistent and even when it worked, the best result was just less fogging.
However, here’s what I found actually works. The best part is that it’s actually super simple! You just need one thing and some paper folding skills!
First, grab a tissue, any regular old tissue will work although a soft one certainly helps since it’ll be resting on your nose.
You want to fold it down the middle following the crease as shown below.
After that, fold it again two more times so you’re left with a thin strip of folded tissue.
Now, just take the two outer edges of the thin strip and fold it inwards towards the middle leaving some unfolded space in the middle. The idea is to put this open and thinner space on the bridge of your nose, right in the middle of the top edge of the mask.
This’ll take a moment or two to do at first but once you have it down, it’s a a quick job. You don’t have to flip folded tissue as shown above but it does make it more comfortable if you do.
The benefit of this is that the thicker part of the tissue rests on the sides of your nose and blocks the area where most air escapes. You can breathe and if you’ve applied it properly, you’ll get no more fogging of your glasses.
If the above is hard to follow, here’s a GIF of the entire process.
Ever since my wife told me about this, I’ve kept a box of tissues in my car and I follow the process every time I have to go into a place where social distancing isn’t possible.
You do want to make sure it’s right on the edge of the mask and resting as far up your nose as possible. Another good part of this is that you can easily hide the tissue under the mask so no one will know it’s there.
There ARE some negatives. One is that some people may find the tissue under the mask a bit irritating. For me, it’s not much of a problem but I find that putting the folded area down away from the nose as shown in the GIF does seem to help with that. It also helps to use soft tissues.
Secondly, since you’re stuffing some tissue under your mask, it ends up raising your mask a bit which may make the glasses sit less evenly on your nose. That will depend on the style and thickness of glasses you own. Mine are pretty thick but with some finagling I can make it work pretty well. However, there were a few times early on where my glasses just slid off when I pointed my face down towards the ground.
You should probably test it to make sure your glasses don’t fall off because they’re not sitting properly before using this method consistently. However, remember that it’s important to use a thick barrier which is why we fold the tissue as illustrated above. After all, that’s why it works, it blocks out the air from traveling upwards.
I’ve seen suggestions that replacing the tissue with tape and taping the mask the bridge of your nose in the same spot works as well. However, I’ve found that it’s inconsistent for me since the tape is so thin and also a bit aggravating since you’re putting tape glue on your face.
Again, worth trying if you find the tissue method unappealing.
Remember, it may really depend on the style of mask so I suggest trying all three to see what works best for you. I personally think the method outlined above is the best but understand it may not work for everyone.
Does this method stop fogged glasses 100% of the time? No.
It’s not perfect and if it’s ultra humid, some fogging does occur but it’s so much better than anything else I’ve tried. Generally, even on humid days, if you’re fogging up then it’s likely that your placement is sub-optimal and some shifting around will fix it. The most annoying part is the thicker mask and fitting your glasses around it but that’s still much better than fogged glasses with each breath.
The best part is that depending on what kind of mask you wear, you can sometimes tuck in the tissue between uses. With my mask, I often hang the mask on my neck when not in use and the tissue can just rest in the nook there until I need to use it again.
In any case, I’m certainly less annoyed by my mask these days since I’m not fogging all over the place. I understand the importance of mask wearing to help protect others and am glad to have found something to help with the fogging glasses issue.
Hopefully, this helps some of you too but let me know if you have any other hacks for fogged up glasses to share.
Note that this article is not considered medical advice and should not be taken as such. If you have any medical conditions or personal medical questions, please consult your doctor with any questions. Always follow CDC recommendations and suggestions when wearing masks.