What to do if your face mask is making your specs foggy

With effect from 24th July 2020, you are legally required to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces, including shops and public transport, in England.

A common question our clients have been asking is:

“How do I stop my specs from fogging when I’m wearing a face mask?”

Before looking at how to prevent fogging, let’s look at the requirements.

What constitutes a face covering?

Based on government information at the time of writing, from 24th July 2020, you are legally required to wear a face-covering in enclosed public spaces unless you meet the exemption criteria.

To read the detailed government advice, click here.

A face covering does not need to be a medical style mask. You could choose to use;

  • Scarf
  • Bandana
  • Hand or Homemade cloth covering
  • Religious garments

Your face covering should securely fit around the side of your face and cover both your mouth and nose. The important thing is that it will reduce the risk of virus transmission between people when maintaining the appropriate distance is difficult.

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

Covering your mouth and nose with a mask or face covering affects the natural airflow around your face.

Your exhaled breath is warm. When it pushes out through the edges of your face covering – mainly around your nose – it causes fogging when it meets the cool surface of your lenses.

Depending on the weather, the type of face covering and how long you are wearing it, you might also experience excess moisture causing your frames to slip down your nose when they wouldn’t usually. This can be irritating.

Four top tips to prevent foggy specs

  • Snug face coverings don’t just offer better virus protection, they also cause less fogging than loose ones. The ideal fit is for the face covering is snug to your nose and cheeks. If you struggle to find masks that fit you well, you might need to adjust them.
  • Too Big? Tighten it. This might sound obvious but if your mask is too big, see if there is enough length in the ear loops to tighten it but giving it an extra twist or tying a small loop in the elastic.
  • Mind the gap! Closing the gap between your nose and specs can reduce fogging. If your mask doesn’t have any adjustable fittings over the bridge of your nose, you could try moving it slightly up your face and then sitting your glasses on top of it. Not a perfect solution but if you are only wearing the face-covering for a short time, it might do the trick.
  • Keep your lenses clean. If your lenses are dirty, smeary or greasy, it won’t help the fogging situation, so give them a clean. But please, use the right products and specialist cloth!

What not to do

To ensure your glasses provide the maximum comfort, specialist coatings are commonly used.

Cleaning with harsh household cleaners or products that aren’t designed for cleaning optical lenses can cause extensive, and expensive, damage.

Avoid costly repairs by speaking to your dispensing optician for advice on how to keep your particular lenses clean.

Essilor Optifog

If foggy specs are a problem even when you’re not wearing a face covering, Essilor Optifog could be the perfect solution.

Essilor Optifog lens treatment is durable, scratch-resistant, protects your eyes from UV light and prevents fogging.

For more information about Essilor Optifog lens treatment, call 01329 832706 for Wickham or 023 9255 0723 for Lee-on-the-Solent.