Humans are used to covering our bodies when we go outside, because we’ve realised that no one wants to see each other’s butts.
We never question this, but it’s a little strange if you think about it. Imagine if pigeons started wearing tiny jeans all of a sudden because it was considered polite in the pigeon world.
Now, due to the coronavirus, we might have to get used to covering half our face when we go outside, in addition to our genitals and torso.
While this is nothing more than a mild inconvenience for most of us, glasses wearers are noticing one annoying phenomenon when they wear masks:
Their glasses fog up.
But why does this happen? Why has the universe, who already bestowed poor vision upon your eyes, made protecting others from an infectious disease a nuisance?
Well, there’s actually a simple explanation for this, according to HuffPost.
See, when you wear a mask, it directs your hot, moist breath upward onto the cool lenses.
The water vapour in your breath condenses on the lenses, and surface tension causes the droplets to stay on the glass.
This is especially more pronounced if you’re wearing a reusable mask as the air can’t go through the mask.
The most irritating thing is that even if you wipe the droplets off your glasses, they’ll continue to form as you breathe.
So, what can you do about this? Well, you have three options:
- wear contacts
- take off your glasses, accept your poor vision, and try not to bang into anything
- don’t breathe
Those are horrible options, of course. Thankfully, there are three simple solutions to this problem:
1. Wash Your Glasses With Soapy Water
According to a 2011 study in a medical journal, doctors who washed their glasses with soapy water pre-surgery didn’t have their glasses fog up when wearing surgical masks.
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The last thing you’d want is a surgeon unable to see while they’re removing your appendix, of course.
So, all you have to do is this:
- wash your spectacles with soapy water
- shake off the excess
- let your spectacles dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue paper before putting them back on. If you’ve a microfibre cloth, use that instead
And voila, your glasses won’t fog up anymore.
Why? Well, soapy water leaves behind a thin surfactant film, making it more difficult for moisture to condense.
This effect won’t last all day, though. It’ll be good for a few hours and then you’ll have to rewash your lenses with soap and water.
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If you happen to be Bill Gates or the owner of Sheng Shiong, you could also purchase a commercial anti-fog chemical to spray on your lenses. But soap is obviously cheaper and a lot more accessible.
2. Fold Down the Top Portion of Your Mask
If you’re too lazy to wash your lenses several times a day, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has another, simpler solution for you.
All you have to do is fold down the top part of your mask before wearing it.
Here’s a short clip showing you how to do it:
This creates extra space for your breath to escape out of your mask before it comes into contact with your glasses.
There are a few downsides to this method, however.
One is that you can’t use it for masks that have a metal nose piece.
Secondly, this method reduces the size of your mask, which can defeat the purpose of wearing one.
Remember, the edges of a face mask should fully cover all of your nose and mouth, so if folding the mask exposes one of these areas, you should try another method.
3. Place A Folded Tissue Inside The Top of Your Mask
Not impressed with the first two methods? Well, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has yet another simple solution to this problem: tissue.
Reader: You mean like wipe my glasses with a tissue after it fogs up? I already do that.
What? No. I mean you can fold a tissue into a thick rectangle and place it inside the top of your mask.
Since it lies on top the bridge of your nose, it will absorb the moisture from your breath, preventing condensation.
Pretty nifty, right?
You can now go out in public confident that your glasses won’t fog up. Unless you just came out of an air-conditioned car, of course. There are some things in life we just can’t change.
Masks Not Enough
Now, there’s no real point in wearing a mask if you have the hygiene of a 3-year-old kid.
3-year-old kid: Hey, that’s mean
You’re literally sitting in your own poop right now.
3-year-old kid: Point taken
Make sure to wash your hands properly and frequently, and avoid touching your beautiful face, especially when you’re out in public.
And the circuit breaker is not over yet, so please stay at home as much as possible and avoid leaving your house unless it’s for an essential trip.
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