Surgeon shares ingenious tip to prevent glasses from fogging up while wearing a mask
TORONTO -- An American neurosurgeon’s advice on how to prevent eyeglasses from fogging up while wearing a face mask has earned tens of thousands of likes on Twitter and sparked a conversation on the best tricks to fight the fog.
Last week, Dr. Daniel Heiferman, a neurosurgery fellow at Semmes Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute in Memphis, Tenn., shared a selfie on Twitter in which he can be seen wearing a face mask with an adhesive bandage plastered on the top of it.
“If you’re having a hard time with glasses fogging or keeping your mask up over your nose, a simple bandaid does wonders. Learned it in the OR. Feel free to share, it may save lives!” he tweeted.
Heiferman explained that he’s been securing his face mask to his face with a bandage for years to keep his surgical loupes, which are magnification devices mounted to glasses, from fogging up during operations.
“A lot of surgeons use just regular surgical tape that’s available in the operating room, but it really irritated the bridge of my nose,” he told CTVNews.ca during a telephone interview on Tuesday. “And so I thought of using just a Band-Aid that has a little cotton pad on it that will sit kind of on that part that was really irritating to me.”
To attach the bandage, Heiferman suggested putting the cotton part of it on the bridge of the nose with half of it on the mask and the other half on the face.
Because the bandage solution has worked so well for him over the years, Heiferman said he decided to share the tip with his Twitter followers in an effort to encourage them to keep wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are a lot of people who want to do a good job, but have a hard time because it’s new to them and they don’t know how to do it well, and I’m just hopeful that this is going to have an impact and help people wear masks better,” he said.
Heiferman’s tip has been well-received on Twitter, with more than 169,000 likes and 64,000 retweets, including one by celebrity Chrissy Teigen who included some additional commentary: “damn this is why you [sic] a doctor and I am I don’t know.”
The comments under Heiferman’s tweet have also become an interesting hub of advice with users sharing their own techniques for keeping their glasses from fogging up from their breath while wearing a mask.
One man said he bought a pack of metal stick-on strips that he puts on his mask and then molds it around his nose to prevent the air from his breath from travelling up and fogging his glasses.
Another user suggested giving the ear loops of the face mask a half twist before putting it on to keep the top of the mask from riding up towards the wearer’s eyes.
One more user said they just pull the frames of their glasses over top of their mask to keep the fog at bay.
OTHER TIPS TO PREVENT FOGGY GLASSES
While Heiferman said his bandage trick has been useful over the years, he encouraged people to use whatever method works the best for them so they can continue to wear a mask comfortably.
“At the end of the day, it's not about putting a Band-Aid on your face, it’s about knowing how to wear a mask properly and overcoming some of the difficulties that people have in being compliant with good mask usage,” he said.
Here are some tips from other optometrists and experts on preventing glasses fog.
Wash lenses with soap and water
According to two doctors who published their advice in the medical journal “Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England,” glasses wearers should wash their lenses with soap and water and dry them with a clean towel or lens cloth before they put on a face mask because the leftover residue from the soap will prevent fog.
Ensure mask is well fitted
The optometrists at Eye Clinic Markham in Ontario said masks should fit securely over the wearer’s nose so their breath is unable out of the top or sides of it.
Put a tissue inside the top of the mask
At Image Optical in Brampton, Ont., the optometrists there suggest placing a tissue on the inside of the mask near the top of it.
“Fold the tissue to make it smaller and fix it horizontally on the top of your mask. This is where the bridge of your nose will sit. The tissue will absorb all the moisture from your breath and prevent the glasses’ lenses from fogging,” the centre said.
They also recommended securing the tissue with a thin strip of tape, such as medical tape.
Use anti-fog spray
At Island Eye Care in Sydney, N.S., optometrists advised purchasing wipes and sprays designed to prevent fogging on glasses.
“Read the fine print, as certain anti-fog solutions may not work as well, or may even damage lenses with coatings that minimize glare and fingerprint smudges, for example,” the business said.
WHAT NOT TO DO
The optometrists at Corktown Eye Care in Toronto also offered a list of things people shouldn’t do to prevent foggy glasses from mask wearing.
Don’t use toothpaste – The gritty bits can scratch the lenses
Don’t spit on your lenses – It’s not hygienic and a lens cleanser works better.
Don’t rinse eyeglasses in hot water – It can damage the lenses. Use lukewarm water instead.
Don’t use household cleaners – Products such as glass spray, vinegar, and ammonia should not be used on glasses.