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Reduced visibility from clouded eyewear—and removing your eyewear to defog it—poses an immediate safety hazard, especially for those working around powerful machinery. Here are five ways you can keep your glasses from fogging up when wearing a mask. 

Manufacturing workers have an added challenge when wearing a mask or face covering in cold weather: fogging eye protection. 

Face coverings are now a staple of our everyday attire, particularly in workplaces, but while they might help to protect workers from COVID-19 infection, they can also lead to a significant workplace danger. 

With eye protection fogging up because of masks, one slip for a worker who uses machinery such as lathes, milling machines or grinders could lead to a serious injury.
 

“Anti-fog safety glasses are an essential tool for those workers who find fogging to be a constant challenge.”


What’s more, ophthalmologists are treating more people whose eyes were injured after removing their safety glasses—and constant breaks to clear up personal protective equipment also decrease worker efficiency. 

Here are five ways you can prevent your eye protection from fogging up.

No. 1: Using Anti-Fog Glasses

Anti-fog lenses improve visibility under hot and humid conditions.

Anti-fog safety glasses are an essential tool for those workers who find fogging to be a constant challenge.

The eyewear includes a special coating on the lens that reduces fogging by preventing the accumulation of condensation on the surface of the lenses. The eyewear performs a dual role: It protects workers’ eyes from such hazards as dust, or UV rays, and it allows them to work without having to continually remove and clear fogged-up lenses.

3M, for example, offers a line of safety glasses with clear lenses that are anti-fog and scratch-resistant. They are available in several colors, shapes and sizes. 

The clear lenses allow for indoor use and for general-purpose applications. Anti-fog and scratch-resistant lenses improve visibility under hot and humid conditions and prevent damage from minor scratches during everyday operations.

Pro-Safe also offers a line of safety glasses with anti-fog capabilities.

Read more: How to Reduce Fogging When Wearing Safety Eyewear

No. 2: Wearing a Mask and Glasses Properly

Resting your glasses over your face mask may help.

Glasses fog up because the moist air that you breathe out escapes through the top of your mask and collects on your glasses.

If your mask doesn’t fit your face well, the warm air you breathe is likely to fog up your lenses. To avoid this, when putting on your mask, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends you pinch the top of the mask to fit the shape of your nose. If your mask allows it, tighten the sides as well for a good fit.

Resting your glasses over your face mask may also help, says the AAO.

“Try pulling your mask up over your nose and rest your glasses on top of it,” the AAO recommends. “This will block the air from escaping and prevent fogging. If you try this, make sure your mask still fits properly over your face. Your nose and mouth should be completely covered.”

Read more: Why Do Disposable Respirators Have a Defined Shelf Life?

No. 3: Applying an Anti-Fog Coating

Using an anti-fogging solution may help clear the mist.

Using an anti-fogging solution on your eyewear—or even gently washing the lenses with soap and water—may help to reduce the buildup of water droplets.

The New York Times cites a paper by a U.K. surgeon that says washing your glasses with soapy water and “letting them air dry” can help. According to the surgeon’s paper, washing spectacles with soapy water leaves behind a thin film on the lens that reduces the surface tension that causes droplets to form and leads to fogging.

You may also try various commercial anti-fogging wipes and sprays. For example, Pro-Safe offers anti-fog, anti-static lens-cleaning towelettes, while various other lens-cleaning solutions are available. They contain compounds that leave behind a transparent layer that prevents fogging. Using lens cleaners and microfiber cloths can also help clear the mist.

Read more: How to Manage Employee Anxiety in the Workplace During the COVID-19 Pandemic

No. 4: Using Prescription Safety Eyewear

The WileyX Climate Control Series Enzo

For those who wear prescription eyeglasses, another option is to use prescription safety eyewear. 

Eyelation, for example, has developed a self-service eyewear kiosk that allows employees to quickly order ANSI-approved prescription safety glasses using a kiosk or mobile ordering system. 

The program offers digital lenses from single vision to progressives and special coatings for scratch protection or to prevent fogging.

The technology guides employees through a three-step ordering process while tracking eligibility, benefit allowance and approved items for each employee.

If you are looking for more information about Eyelation’s prescription eyewear program contact your local MSC representative.

Read more: I Can See Clearly Now, the Speck Is Gone: Preventing Workplace Eye Injuries

No. 5: Taping Your Mask Down

To create a better fit, use tape to fasten the top of your mask to your face.

Wearing a snug face mask can prevent fogging, but it’s not always possible to find a mask that fits your face precisely. To create a better fit, use tape to fasten the top of your mask to your face.

You can do this with sports or medical tape or another adhesive, placing half of the tape on the mask and the other half on your face. 

If you have sensitive skin, “test the tape out beforehand to make sure that it doesn’t cause irritation,” advises the Cleveland Clinic. “Or you can simply use tape that was made for sensitive skin.”

Fogging or not, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization still recommend wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, getting a flu shot, and frequent hand-washing to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

Do you have any tips or hacks for preventing fogging when wearing eye protection and a face covering? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

In this video, MSC safety specialists discuss how to create a safer workplace:

How Do You Reduce Fogging When Wearing Safety Eyewear?

With everyone wearing masks, especially in the workplace, many of us are trying to deal with reduced visibility from fogged-up eyewear.

This is especially dangerous for those working around powerful machinery. There’s a handful of ways you can keep your glasses from fogging when wearing a mask. 

Which one do you find most effective? Help others gain insights on this topic by taking our poll.

Which de-fogging technique do you find more effective?

Talk to Us!

Actually the best way to prevent fogging is to take off and refuse to wear the ridiculous mask. They do nothing but spread fear.

17  

i totally agree

3  

Take a small strip of Kleenex (cut it or fold it to about 3" wide by 1" high), place it over the bridge of your nose, then put your mask on and mold it to your nose. 

10  

It really helped when you talked about how wearing a mask with glasses makes them foggy! Recently, my wife and I went back to work, and since both of us wear glasses, all the fogging is driving us crazy! We believe your article will provide key insight about anti-fogging solutions, so we'll be sure to read it! Thanks for the advice on how there are multiple anti-fogging solutions!https://c-clearantifog.com/Anti-Fog-Spray-s/107.htm

   

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