Wearing glasses when you fly is smart.
Even before COVID-19, contact-wearing travelers would put on glasses for early morning or long-haul flights. Airplanes are dry and swapping contacts for glasses keeps eyes moist and makes it easier sleep on board.
But now, wearing glasses has a much greater benefit: by putting a barrier in front of your eyes, you are far less likely to inadvertently touch them.
And we should all love anything that stops us from touching our faces, given the risk it carries in transmitting the coronavirus.
Like Jimmy Fallon says each night, “Wash your hands, don’t touch your face.”
Unfortunately, wearing a face mask with glasses complicates things. As any glasses wearer knows, when warm breath escapes the top of a mask it can fog up your lenses. This makes it difficult to see and is generally uncomfortable.
Here’s how to fix this.
Choose a Mask That Properly Seals To Your Face
Ideally your breath shouldn’t leak out of of the top of the mask. That part of the mask should be sealed to your face, with your breath escaping through the mask’s fabric.
To ensure a proper seal, buy a mask with a nose bridge — a flat metal strip along the top of the mask which can be molded to the shape of your face. If you make your own mask, pipe cleaners or twist ties work well as nose bridges.
When you first put on the mask, adjust the bridge to form a tight seal at the top of your face. Put your glasses on for a minute or two and see if they fog up. Readjust the mask’s nose bridge if necessary.
Create a Seal Using Your Glasses
Don’t have a nose bridge in your mask? Try placing your mask higher up on your nose. Then use your glasses to seal the mask to your face. The nose pads and the bottom of the frames will hold the mask fabric in place. By putting on your glasses directly over the mask fabric that’s on your nose, you create the important seal mentioned above.
Use Soap and Water
Washing your lenses with soap and water and wiping with a soft, microfiber cloth creates a thin film that prevents fog from forming. Some mask-wearing medical professionals have sworn by this method for years.
Treat Lenses with Anti-Fog Spray
Anti-fog spray or anti-fog wipes are made to prevent glasses from fogging up. They can be a useful additions to the methods above.
When You Travel
We recommend testing these methods and preparing your masks at home with clean hands before heading to the airport.
You don’t want to be fumbling with a mask in foggy glasses while navigating security lines or during boarding.