If you wear eyeglasses, I'll bet you've encountered a most annoying problem while wearing a mask -- glasses fogging up. That makes it difficult, if not impossible, to see!
Why do our eyeglasses fog up when wearing a mask? The answer is simple: condensation.
According to ophthalmologist Dr. Jesse Pelletier, recently quoted in Parade, "When the warm and moist air is trapped behind your spectacles, microscopic water droplets collect on the cool surface of the lens, forming a layer of fog that makes it difficult to see."
Well, great. Now we know the reason, but so what if we don't have a solution, right? Because I deal with the problem myself, I was super excited to reach into my virtual mailbag to find this message for how to stop glasses from fogging up:
GOOD OL' BARBASOL
Dear Mary: Since wearing masks has become a part of life, fogging glasses are a problem for many people -- especially for delivery drivers and others who are in and out of the cold all day long. This tip was passed on to me from a member of the military.
Barbasol shaving foam! It's cheap and easily found at any dollar store. She warned me that, while other brands of shave foam will work as well, those made specifically for ladies do not work (maybe because they have lotion in them).
Barbasol does a good job of cleaning glasses, too. Apply to both sides of the lenses, and then rub it away with a soft cloth in the same way you would clean your glasses with rubbing alcohol or eyeglass cleaner.
I'm going to quit buying those cleaning wipes for eyeglasses and use Barbasol from now on. -- Leanne
While researching to see if I could either confirm or deny Leanne's discovery (it's true, especially the part about staying away from varieties of shave foam that contain aloe, vitamin E and other lotion-type ingredients that will make a smeary mess on lenses), I discovered more ways to keep our eyeglasses from fogging up.
To keep from getting all fogged up, your mask needs to fit your face well with very little space between the bridge of your nose and the upper rim of the mask. A mask that is the right size so that it fits snuggly should prevent the fogging-up problem.
TAPE IT TO YOUR NOSE
This is a trick used by surgeons and other health professionals who wear glasses and happen to have a roll of surgical tape handy. A light piece of paper tape across the top of the mask to hold it snuggly against your nose can prevent fog and hold it there for hours.
WEAR YOUR MASK UNDER YOUR GLASSES
Simply changing the positioning of your glasses and your mask may be another solution. This means your mask is going to sit a bit high up on your nose while your glasses move a little farther down so the lenses and the mask overlap. This may be a solution that works for you.
THE TISSUE TRICK
I like this remedy, although I'm still working on getting to feel less annoying. Scrunch up a clean tissue, and place it inside between your mask and your face. It won't show, but it will trap some of the moisture from hitting the lenses. If your mask has pleats, folds or a pocket, try folding the tissue to fit between the folds or inside the pocket.
BLUE DAWN AND WATER
Research shows that washing your glasses with warm, soapy water leaves a thin film that could prevent fogging. Of course, I prefer Blue Dawn, but any soap may work. We know that Blue Dawn has more surfactants than others, which will decrease surface tension on the lens, keeping the water molecules from the condensation from clumping up.
SWITCH TO CONTACT LENSES
Whether you think it's a good option or not, switching to contact lenses will take care of the problem!
While these options are good to know, I like Leanne's shaving foam tip the best. I can clean and defog at the same time. No tape, no tissue and, for sure, no spit!
Even better? Her choice of Barbasol is cheap!
Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.