As COVID-19 took hold, so began the great DIY rush of 2020, in which everybody started crafting masks out of things lying around the house, utilising patterns they found online. One problem: They don’t work well for my fellow nerds in glasses.
This fogging is frustrating, but it could also be dangerous. It prompts the wearer to touch their face to adjust or clean their glasses, which might increase the risk of transferring the infection from the fingers to the face. This would be completely counterproductive to wearing a mask in the first place. But don’t fear. Here are some ideas from around the internet.
ABSORB THE MOISTURE
One solution is to produce an absorbent layer in between your nose and your eyes to efficiently absorb any moisture before it can mist up your glasses. A folded up piece of tissue paper could suffice. If you want to keep the tissue in place, tape it. Down-side – it looks a bit daft.
USAGE A METAL NOSECLIP
In medical masks, there is often a metal nose clip that allows you to create a better seal around your nose to prevent moisture from entering or leaving the mask. If you have a homemade mask, you can try to create a similar mechanism by incorporating a metal piece that can be adjusted to the shape of your nose. Pipe cleaners or paperclips should do the trick.
DEVELOP AREA FOR AIR
Another option is to enable air to escape from the side of the mask or the cheek area, instead of the top. The drawback of this approach is that it creates a lot less protection. But if you make a mask that is strategically designed to let air billow out and escape from the sides, it is less likely to come out from the top and interfere with your glasses. In Japan, the Metropolitan Police Department suggests folding the top quarter of your mask down, so air doesn’t escape close to your lenses.
TREAT YOUR GLASSES WITH CHEMICALS
You could treat your glasses with a chemical that will minimise misting. One option pointed out in the journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of England suggests cleaning your glasses with soapy water, which will leave a thin film on the surface. That produces what’s called a “surfactant effect,” that makes it less likely that air will condense on the lens.