Mask Yes! Fogging glasses, well no!

It’s incredible how a global pandemic has brought forth changes in our lives. I first heard the word ‘Mask’ in the eponymous Jim Carrey movie. Who knew it would become an integral part of OUR lives too! In fact, when Donald Trump refused to wear one in public for the longest time and several Americans came out in support of not wearing a mask; many people had a faint hope that the virus will die a quick death. But alas! It was not to happen. So we ended up wearing the mask all the time. More so at offices and public places when work resumed. Surgical masks, N95, home – made cotton types, denims and silk, a mask in every type but none promised relief from its prolonged use. Much to the chagrin of every person, the mask quickly became the (forced) fashion staple. What ensued was a plethora of problems people faced. Apart from the confusion of not identifying people, you smiling at known faces and getting a blank stare in return, avoiding unwanted people and similar funny and not so funny situations, the more specific ones were-

The first three had really no respite since they are problems that are psychological and physiological. But the last one has irked people no end, me included. With numerous people wearing glasses every day, wearing a mask and stepping inside air-conditioned cabins resulted in a fogged spectacle, literally. Was there no cure for this problem? Well, don’t lose hope.

  1. When we put on a mask, the nostrils suck cool air from below and the warm air that comes out through the exhalation rises up. Through the small gap on the bridge of the nose, the air passes to the glasses and creates a fog when it hits cool surface. What is needed is to stop the warm air from rising. You can choose a mask that has a thick metal band on the nose that prevents the warm air from rising to the glasses. Many masks have air filters which can filter the exhaled air.
  2. Wearing the cotton mask on your face and the placing the glasses on it works sometimes if the mask is tight enough to not allow the warm air to reach the glasses. But you will need to remove the glasses every time you need to drink or eat something. You may not be able to tough either the mask or the glasses without sanitizing your hands every single time. If wearing mask is in itself a much-hated task, cleaning, sanitizing again and again is surely not going to go well with most.
  3. Fog is not new for drivers, especially at nights when it blurs an already challenged vision in the dark. Automakers have come up with anti fogging chemicals which when sprayed on the glass, don’t allow fog to accumulate over it. See if you can use the same for your glasses. Chemists and auto accessories shops routinely store such demisting sprays in aerosol cans. Yes, it would involve some amount of expense for the demisting sprays, but then the mask is here to stay for some more time and you cannot afford to get the glasses all fogged up, right?
  4. Using soap water on the glasses apparently creates a thin film that discourages fog formation on the glasses. One can try washing the glasses in dilute soap water once or twice a day. If making soap water or carrying it from home is a tedious task, especially when you’re jumping venues for work, try carrying shaving foam instead. That way you end up cleaning it without the mess of water. Wiping the glasses with tissue is also a solution but tissues, even the best ones, tend to leave some lint behind. That would happen with a cotton wipe too.
  5. A simple way would be to use a skin-friendly tape to fix the mask on the bridge of your nose. Choose a thin tape that has a skin friendly glue. Never ever use duct tape or cellophane tape that can leave your skin damaged in the long run. But again, that’s a terrible idea if you like munching and sipping throughout the day when you would end up fixing the tape multiple times. And I can just imagine you doing it over and over again!
  6. If you’re tired of dealing with the mask, try dealing with the glasses instead. Go for rimmed glasses that box the frame around the eyes leaving no gap between the rim and the cheek. This way we may escape fogging the glasses at the cost of looking like a nerd. Or worse. But then who cares! No big deal if you’re in finance or academics but would drastically alter your looks if you are in some glamorous professions. Avoid stepping out of zones with drastic differences in temperatures. For instance, when you’re coming in and out of your AC cabin into a warm zone or getting off our AC car into the parking lot, try if you can just remove the glasses. But when you wear them again, don’t forget to sanitize the pair all over again.

Whatever the rigmarole of wearing a mask, ensuring you replace it with a new one every day, not touching either the mask, the eyes or the glasses with bare hands, all said and done, once you know it’s all a part of the new normal, you are left with little reprise than to find some customized solutions.

Have you found another way of dealing with this issue? Take a moment and comment below.

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