Dear Fabulous Readers,

This month’s column is a follow up of last month’s best methods to prevent our lenses from fogging while wearing masks. I must tell you, Ms. Specs may have gone a little overboard while channeling her inner science geek!

I performed many experiments, indoors (73 degrees), outdoors (85 degrees) and yes, even sticking my head in the refrigerator to simulate northern climates (approximately 40 degrees). You should have seen my condo-neighbors’ faces while I carried my clipboard with masks and glasses out to the pool, in the lobby, in the elevator and more! The great part was that I was able to help them solve the lens fogging problem in their own experience.

The parameters were as follows: - Same pair of glasses (a full acetate frame). - Two different masks: one fabric and one disposable. Interestingly, the results came out the same, regardless of the type of mask.

Grading System (cannot help the teacher in me!):
From 1 to 3

  1. It does not work at all!
  2. Meh, it works OK.
  3. It works amazingly well!

And the different methods for the experiment:

  1. Loosely fitted mask. (Not graded because nothing works unless the mask is fit properly and tightly contoured around your nose and upper cheeks.)
  2. A drop of dishwashing liquid (like Dawn).
  3. White athletic or medical tape on top of the mask.
  4. Pull mask up high with glasses over them.
  5. Soap and water… rinse, then air-dry.
  6. Folded tissue inside the top of the mask, pleated, with the top fold facing out.
  7. Twist the elastic bands over the ear, “make an x.”
  8. Slip glasses way down on the nose. (Obviously, this is a big no-no for optical reasons.)
  9. Cat Crap: Ms. Specs was puzzled as to why someone would name an anti-fogging substance “Cat Crap.” So I asked Google, and the response: “Cat Crap was named for the Caterpillar equipment used to haul skiers and boarders up to the tops of mountains that have no lifts. These are some of the hard-core slopes, for some of the hard-core snow bums.” This made me laugh out loud!
  10. Mold your mask around your nose and cheeks (clearly the consistent strategy that helps immensely). Note: If you have a fabric mask, place a pipe cleaner in the inside upper fold so that you can properly mold it.

So Dear Readers, please see the results in the chart that I made. I had lots of fun doing this experiment. Do you have additional tips for how to prevent lenses from fogging? Please share with us! No doubt our patients/clients will benefit from this information as well.

Ms. Specs is sending her very best vibes to all of you as we continue to thrive in this challenging time. I for one am very proud of our optical profession in how we adapted and accommodated to this new protocol. Looking forward to seeing you face to face again and especially looking forward to (should I say it? Gasp!) hugging you when we can!

See Well and Be Well,
Ms. Specs in the City
Laurie Pierce, ABOM

Do you have a question for Ms. Specs? Please send your question to [email protected], and we may feature it in a future column.