From July 24 the wearing masks will be mandatory in shops as well as on public transports and in hospitals.
However, while the measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus is a basic way of keeping as many people safe as possible, those who wear glasses frequently find that their glasses steam up as warm breath is forced upwards and meets the colder glass surface.
There are many hints online for stopping the problem, but opticians say most of them won’t work.
1. Make sure your mask fits snugly
A tightly fitting mask is the first thing that you need to check for. Not only does this help to keep you protected against any airborne particles, but it also stops too much breath from escaping and fogging your lenses. For the best fit, your mask should be snug against your nose and cheeks, and there shouldn’t be any slack or gaps for the air to escape. If your mask is not tight enough when you first put it on, try tightening the straps for a secure fit or opting for a smaller size.
2. Secure the mask around your nose
Securing your mask around your nose is another way to limit the amount of breath that escapes upwards. Try moving your mask further up your nose (if this is comfortable for you) and resting your glasses on top of it to help seal the mask. If this does not work, or your mask cannot be pulled this high, try using a small piece of surgical tape to secure the mask to the bridge of your nose. This helps form a seal to prevent your breath from escaping upwards.
3. Think your mask is too big? Tighten it with the ear loops
If your mask doesn’t fit tightly, you can try adjusting it yourself. If you have enough slack in the ear loops, try twisting them into an ‘X’ shape and then putting them around your ears. With the self-tying face masks, you can adjust it yourself so that the mask fits closer to your face — just make sure you don’t tie them so tight that you get red marks behind your ears.
4. Stop your glasses from slipping down your nose
Glasses constantly slipping down your nose can be a pain, so why not try wrapping the string of the mask around the sides of your glasses rather than your ear. This might help to make your glasses and mask more secure — just be careful when taking off your glasses as the mask will be attached. It might be that your glasses are slipping down because your frames are not fitting you as well as they did, this can happen over time as we use them day in and day out – they may simply need adjusting. If so, just call your local Specsavers opticians and we’ll be able to adjust them for you, though at the moment this may be by appointment only.
5. Breathe downwards into the mask
Instead of fiddling with your mask and trying to adjust it, you might find that changing your breathing helps just as well. To prevent your glasses from steaming up, try to push the air downwards when you exhale. It might take a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s a pretty simple solution.
6. Clean your lenses
It might be that your lenses are prone to fogging if it’s been a while since they had a good clean. We suggest using a cloth and cleaning spray, or, if they’re particularly dirty or smeared, put a small drop of washing-up liquid on the lenses and rub lightly with your fingers. Then rinse them with warm (not hot) water and gently dry with a soft tissue.
7. Adjust your glasses
It may seem a little counterintuitive, but pushing your glasses down on your nose slightly will create more space between your lenses and your eyes, allowing for more air to circulate and keeping your breath from fogging up your vision.
8. Switch to contact lenses
If none of the above tips are helpful, it might be worth switching to contact lenses for the time being. This eliminates any worry that your vision might be impaired by steamy lenses, which is especially important if you’re at work where it might be difficult to keep defogging your lenses.