Face coverings are being recommended for use on a widespread basis. Depending where you live, it may be compulsory to wear face coverings on public transport and in some public spaces, so this has become an essential part of everyday life. 

But if you’re a glasses wearer, you’ve probably run into the issue of your glasses fogging up when you’re wearing a face mask. From constantly wiping your glasses throughout the day, to moisture causing them to slip down your nose — we understand how frustrating this added stress can be. So to help, our experts have shared their top tips and tricks for keeping your glasses fog-free below.

What's the difference between a mask and a face covering?

Face coverings are items, usually made of cloth, that can be used to cover your mouth and nose in public, through which you can breathe. Some common face coverings include bandanas, scarves, pashminas, religious head coverings, as well as medical and cloth face masks. 

In the UK face coverings are being recommended for use on a widespread basis. Depending where you live, it may be compulsory to wear face coverings on public transport and you are also encouraged to wear them in public spaces where you might come into contact with lots of people. Following government guidance in Scotland, it is now mandatory to wear face coverings in public spaces like shops which includes our Specsavers stores (unless you fall under an exempt group).

We’ll keep you updated should this change at any point, but it’s worth calling your local store ahead of your visit to be sure you have the most up-to-date information.

Why do glasses fog up when wearing a face mask?

Due to the limited airflow, glasses fogging tends to be more common when wearing a medical or cloth face mask because your breath mostly escapes from the top of your mask. When you exhale, your warm breath comes into contact with your cooler lenses, which steams up your lenses and clouds your vision. This steam also creates excess moisture around your glasses which reduces the grip of your nose pads, and makes it easy for them to slip down your face.

Top tips to stop your glasses from fogging up

Our experts have shared their top tips for fog-free glasses below. We recommend that you try these tips before leaving the house to ensure your mask is secure and you don't have to fiddle with it or touch your face once you’re out in public.

1. Make sure your mask fits snugly

A tightly fitting mask is the first thing that you need to check for. Not only does this help to keep you protected against any airborne particles, but it also stops too much breath from escaping and fogging your lenses. For the best fit, your mask should be snug against your nose and cheeks, and there shouldn’t be any slack or gaps for the air to escape. If your mask is not tight enough when you first put it on, try tightening the straps for a secure fit or opting for a smaller size.

2. Secure the mask around your nose

Securing your mask around your nose is another way to limit the amount of breath that escapes upwards. Try moving your mask further up your nose (if this is comfortable for you) and resting your glasses on top of it to help seal the mask. If this does not work, or your mask cannot be pulled this high, try using a small piece of surgical tape to secure the mask to the bridge of your nose. This helps form a seal to prevent your breath from escaping upwards.

3. Think your mask is too big? Tighten it with the ear loops

If your mask doesn’t fit tightly, you can try adjusting it yourself. If you have enough slack in the ear loops, try twisting them into an ‘X’ shape and then putting them around your ears. With the self-tying face masks, you can adjust it yourself so that the mask fits closer to your face — just make sure you don’t tie them so tight that you get red marks behind your ears.

4. Stop your glasses from slipping down your nose

Glasses constantly slipping down your nose can be a pain, so why not try wrapping the string of the mask around the sides of your glasses rather than your ear. This might help to make your glasses and mask more secure — just be careful when taking off your glasses as the mask will be attached. It might be that your glasses are slipping down because your frames are not fitting you as well as they did, this can happen over time as we use them day in and day out - they may simply need adjusting. If so, just call your local Specsavers opticians and we’ll be able to adjust them for you, though at the moment this may be by appointment only.

5. Breathe downwards into the mask

Instead of fiddling with your mask and trying to adjust it, you might find that changing your breathing helps just as well. To prevent your glasses from steaming up, try to push the air downwards when you exhale. It might take a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s a pretty simple solution.

6. Clean your lenses 

It might be that your lenses are prone to fogging if it’s been a while since they had a good clean. We suggest using a cloth and cleaning spray, or, it might be that your lenses are prone to fogging if it’s been a while since they had a good clean. We suggest using a glasses cloth and cleaning spray. If you want lenses that are easy clean lenses and stay cleaner for longer, try our UltraClear SuperClean lenses.

7. Adjust your glasses 

 It may seem a little counterintuitive, but pushing your glasses down on your nose slightly will create more space between your lenses and your eyes, allowing for more air to circulate and keeping your breath from fogging up your vision. 

8. Switch to contact lenses

If none of the above tips are helpful, it might be worth switching to contact lenses for the time being. This eliminates any worry that your vision might be impaired by steamy lenses, which is especially important if you’re at work where it might be difficult to keep defogging your lenses. For guidance, check out our advice for wearing contact lenses safely.

Find out more about our contact lens package

For more helpful eyecare tips, simply visit our COVID-19 care hub or book an appointment to visit us in-store.

Official government guidance on face coverings: 

England
Northern Ireland 
Republic of Ireland
Scotland
Wales

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