By Linda Conlin, Pro to Pro Managing Editor
My sister-in-law is a physical therapist who works with disabled children. The children cannot wear masks, and many don’t understand COVID protocols regarding coughing and sneezing, so the physical therapists must wear masks and full face shields. The physical demands on a therapist during a session can generate above normal body heat and harder breathing. Moisture from warm, humid breath meets the cooler back of the eyeglass lenses where it forms droplets, that is, fog. It’s no surprise that my sister-in-law’s glasses kept fogging up, and it’s nearly impossible to stop and clear them when she’s working with a patient. She called me to see if I could offer any advice.
It just so happens that our own Ms. Specs in the City, Laurie Pierce, offers some tips to keep lenses from fogging in the July/August issue of 20/20 Magazine, 2020mag.com. I sent Ms. Specs’ ten tips to my sister-in-law to try. She called back to say that remedy #2, a drop of dish detergent rubbed on the lenses “works great!” She reported a downside, though. She must have touched her eye after rubbing the detergent on the lenses, because, somehow, she got a bit of the soap in her eye. “Lesson learned the hard way!” she laughed. So, a note of caution to those who try this remedy: Wash your hands immediately after applying the detergent, and don’t touch your face!
Ms. Specs’ remedies are still under evaluation, but I’ll share the rest with you.
Mold the mask closely around the nose and upper cheeks
Secure the top of the mask with athletic tape
Wear the mask high and put the glasses over the top
Clean lenses with soap and water, rinse, and air dry
A tissue folded a few times inside the mask, and folded out over the top
Twist the ear band elastic into an “X”
Anti-fog products that can be applied to the lenses
Permanent anti-fog coatings applied by manufacturers
You can let Ms. Specs know which of these you and your patients try and how they work. Send your comments to Ms. Specs at [email protected], and we may feature it in a future column, and whichever remedy you use, don’t forget to wash your hands!
You can learn more about coping with the demands of COVID protection for yourself and your patients with our CE, The Hygienic Optician, at 2020mag.com/ce.