Why getting an anti-fog coating is your best bet in the age of COVID
Let’s face it—if we’re being honest, back in February, it would have been hard to believe that, now as we approach the end of 2020, we’d still be strapping cloth masks across our faces every time we leave our homes. And yet, as socially responsible citizens, mask wearing, along with hand-sanitizing and social distancing measures, have quickly become facets of our “new-normal” as we go about our daily lives.
As we all try our best to adapt to a COVID-19 world, us eyeglass wearers have a uniquely frustrating problem to tackle, as I’m sure anyone reading this article is well aware of. We’ve all been there—you pull up your mask as you’re about to enter the grocery store and almost immediately notice your glasses fogging up, rendering your expensive lenses into a blurry nightmare.
And with medical experts now stating that our new culture of masking up in public will likely last well after the arrival of a vaccine, perhaps now is the right time to look into a long-lasting and effort-free solution to prevent glasses from fogging.
While the internet offers up a variety of quick-fixes to stop glasses from fogging, an anti-fog coating offers the only truly permanent answer for mask-fog woes. Sure, the plethora of quick-fixes out there to overcome eyeglass fog can come in handy, but here at Glazzers.com, we feel there’s a better solution than risking damage to your lenses with abrasive chemicals or sticking tape on your face every day! Before we dive into anti-fog coating for your prescription lenses, let’s take a look at why your glasses fog in the first place, and some of the short-term remedies available.
Why your glasses are fogging up—wear your mask correctly!
One word—condensation! The reason your lenses become a steamy blur is actually quite simple. It’s the same exact phenomena by which your bathroom mirror steams up when taking a hot shower. Simply put, condensation is the process by which a gas or vapor is transformed into a liquid. This occurs when moist vapor, in this case your exhaled breath, comes into contact with a cooler temperature surface, such as your eyeglasses, causing the formation of small droplets which quickly diffuse over your lenses, scattering light and reducing visibility.
Compounding this issue is the nature of breathing through masks and how they sit on our faces. An article published in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, a UK medical journal, notes that when a face mask is worn, the trajectory of air is influenced in such a way that our exhaled breath is pushed upwards, towards our eyes. This accounts for the all-pervasive foggy eyeglasses’ phenomena plaguing us spectacle wearers in the age of COVID.
This also brings to light a crucial aspect of COVID safety. No matter what method you choose to stop glasses from fogging, it’s essential to make sure your mask fits your face correctly. While ensuring your mask fits securely isn’t ultimately enough to fully prevent glasses from fogging up, it guarantees it’s performing its only intended function: limiting the spread of airborne germs from yourself to others. So, if your being completely blinded by eyeglass fog with each and every outbreath, chances are your mask needs some adjusting. With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the common quick fixes and a more permanent solution to stop glasses from fogging!
Temporary solutions to prevent glasses from fogging up
1.) Soap and water
One of the most popular remedies is one of the oldest tricks in the book—plain old soap and water can sometimes help reduce eyeglass fog while wearing a mask. By using soap and water to wash your eyeglasses you create a “surfactant film” on your lenses, according to the article published in the UK medical journal mentioned above.
However, as miraculously easy as this hack for instant anti-fog lenses appears, it’s not without its downsides. Unfortunately, for many eyeglass wearers, this method just doesn’t work very well. A likely reason for this, according to one medical expert, is that this fix works mostly by altering the surface temperature of the lenses, thereby lessening the effects of the condensation process, described in the section above, rather than working to reduce fog directly. What this means is that results are likely going to vary drastically for each person in their particular environment and situation, and any defogging benefit you derive may not last throughout the day. Another drawback of this method is that you run the risk of damaging or even completely ruining your eyeglasses if you have anti-smudge (oleophobic) or water repellent (hydrophobic) coatings.
2.) The taping method
Another common quick-fix alternative to anti-fog prescription glasses is to simply tape your mask onto your face. The recommended method for this is to take a few, small pieces of tape and apply them near the bridge of your nose and alongside your cheeks. You can also fold the tape over to make it double-sided for a more discrete fix. The important consideration here is what type of tape you use—if you go with this method, make sure that you chose an adhesive like medical tape that won’t irritate your skin, or else the solution could be worse than the problem.
The drawbacks to the tape method are pretty clear. For starters, the inherent problem with this method is that every time you take your mask on and off, you would have to reapply the seal, requiring you to carry tape around with you wherever you go. And if you have sensitive skin, even a good tape may possibly cause irritation, not to mention discomfort. To make matters worse, if it’s wet or humid outside the tape may have to be re-applied even more, and constant fussing with your face while out-and-about during a pandemic isn’t exactly ideal.
3.) Anti-fog sprays
Finally, anti-fog sprays are another popular method to stop glasses from fogging. Anti-fog sprays and soaps act in a similar way to the soap and water method described above, except with much greater efficacy. Out of all of three quick-fixes mentioned here to combat eyeglass fog, it’s probably works the best. So…what’s the catch?
Relying on an anti-fog spray can get expensive. Varying in price from 10 to 20 dollars a bottle and acting only as a temporary solution, anti-fog sprays can add up if you’re using them on a daily basis. It’s also important to be extra careful with certain anti-fog sprays if your prescription glasses feature coatings like anti-glare or anti-smudge to avoid damaging your lenses. If your glasses have protective coatings on them, the abrasive chemicals found in many anti-fog sprays have the potential to create a hazy film over your lenses that you can’t get rid of.
Speaking of abrasive substances, Nicole Jochym, a Cooper Medical School student working with Sew Face Masks Philadelphia, cautions that applying a “chemical near your eyeballs” could possibly result in skin irritation.
How to prevent glasses from fogging permanently
Anti-fog prescription glasses
If you don’t feel like thinking a minute longer about how to prevent glasses from fogging, then an anti-fog coating for your prescription glasses is the only truly permanent, effort-free remedy. With anti-fog lenses there’s no need to worry about if you’re damaging your glasses, if you’re low on anti-fog spray, or if your mask is taped on correctly—and no need to read another article about glasses fogging up! Our anti-fog lenses work to repel fog and eliminate condensation, so whether you’re wearing a mask all day long, shifting between a cold environment to a warm one, or playing sports, foggy vision won’t be a burden to you anymore.
Is my prescription compatible with an anti-fog coating?
Our anti-fog lenses work with most types of eyeglass prescriptions, including single vision, bifocals, progressive lenses, polycarbonate lenses, or even sunglasses. Anti-reflective coatings are also compatible with our anti-fog lenses to fully maximize your viewing comfort. If you have any questions about anti-fog coating compatibility with your current prescription, please reach out to us to address all of your concerns.
How to order anti-fog prescription glasses
At Glazzers, we strive to make the process of starting your fog-free life as easy as possible!
Step 1.) Choose from our variety of our stylish, modern optical frames available for your anti-fog prescription lenses.
Step 2.) Send us your choice of frame and prescription lens specifications here.
Step 3.) We’ll send your new anti-fog lenses out to our lab and then back to you!
In these trying times we’re all coping with major changes to our lifestyles and routines. Certainly, the pandemic has presented us with enough challenges but glasses fogging up and diminishing your vision shouldn’t be one of them! The biggest difference between anti-fog sprays, quick-fix solutions and anti-fog prescription lenses is that with the latter, you’ll never have to think about preventing fog ever again.