July 29, 2020 | by: Jamie Paterson


Since the Nova Scotia government recommended we wear cloth face masks in public places, people have learned glasses fog up just about every time we exhale!

… and Friday it becomes MANDATORY!

It doesn’t sound like a major issue, but it’s annoying as Hell!

If you either have perfect vision or wear contacts, more power to you. For the rest of us, here are a few methods to help maintain a clear view while wearing glasses and a face mask.

Soap and water

Doctors were on the front lines of this innovation long before the coronavirus pandemic as they wear face masks every day. This is from 2011 study published in the Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England.

“Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess,” the study recommends. “Then let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn.”

The soapy water creates a “thin surfactant film” that temporarily prevents the surface tension that causes glasses to fog up from breath directed upward by face masks. It’s not a permanent solution, however, and must be repeated a few times a day. Woodworkers who have to wear safety goggles with dust masks have found that shaving cream is also effective in preventing condensation on glasses… SCUBA divers use spit!!


Anti-fog spray

Some chemical sprays stop moisture from collecting on your glasses. Competitive swimmers sometimes use similar sprays to prevent foggy goggles in the middle of a race.

Like soap and water, these sprays are designed to keep condensation from sticking to lenses.

A quick word of caution: Be careful before putting chemicals near your eyes. Defogging your glasses isn’t worth causing irritations that could affect your vision in more serious ways.


A flexible ‘nose’

Some masks come with a metal nose clip that allows the wearer to limit the amount of moisture that comes in or out of the mask. If you’re sewing homemade masks, you can use flexible objects like bobby pins, paper clips or pipe cleaners to create a fitted “nose.” It’s worth mentioning that they should be fastened tightly to ensure they don’t come out and scratch your face.


Fold down part of the mask

Though this sounds like the easiest way to mitigate the problem, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Folding down the top quarter of a face mask provides extra space for your breath to escape before it hits your glasses. This method is championed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and has gained traction through YouTube tutorials.

Keep in mind, though, that this doesn’t work in masks containing metal noses and more importantly, it reduces the area covered by the mask.


Folded tissues

Another way to keep glasses from fogging is by folding a tissue into a rectangle and connecting it to the mask so it stays on the bridge of your nose. The tissue blocks and absorbs some of the moisture escaping the mask to keep lenses clear.

Keeping the tissue in place can be tricky, and it’s vital to get it right the first time so you’re not constantly touching your face to adjust it. Thin tape — medical tape particularly — could work. If that feels uncomfortable, consider one of the other options laid out here.


Wear Your mask higher on your face

A simple solution with mediocre results is to pull your mask higher up on your nose and use the bridge of your glasses as a “clamp” to close the gap.  I tried this at Costco yesterday and ended up frustrated.  I took my glasses off and wandered blindly through the store.  Have you ever realized how similar in shape of a bottle of olive oil  is to a bottle of Mr Clean?

These are the only solutions I have found so far to this not-so-temporary dilemma.  Please feel free to post your own solutions as a reply!