foggy glasses

Mask-Wearing San Diegans Look for Solutions for Foggy Glasses

NBC 7 Responds surveyed optometrists and found all of them have heard complaints of foggy glasses

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Wearing masks in public spaces is part of our new normal, and while they help to stop the spread of COVID-19, they can cause some minor inconveniences -- including foggy glasses.

NBC 7 Responds surveyed nearly two dozen optometrists in San Diego in partnership with the San Diego County Optometric Society, and 100% of respondents said they had heard patient complaints about foggy glasses because of masks. Around 50% of those patients have asked about contacts as an alternative.

"These are people who are maybe on the fence or were apprehensive about contacts before," optometrist Tiana Mathieson said. "The glasses fogging have pushed them to take the plunge and see what other options are out there."

A few optometrists told NBC 7 Responds that they've had patients ask them about corrective surgeries, such as Lasik. Some essential workers have also asked to get their glasses modified to work with their masks.

"I have nurses who come in periodically that have to have stuff done," said Vohn Wischstadt, the owner of Europtics in Encinitas. "They have to wear their mask their entire shift, and so we've had to adjust frames around, making sure they fit properly with a mask."

Most optometrists told NBC 7 Responds that they have suggested anti-fogging wipes and sprays to their patients.

"Occasionally I have a client who will say they have switched to contacts when they're out and have to wear a mask all day," Wischtadt said.

Mathieson said that if you can't find anti-fog wipes or sprays, you can turn to some simpler fixes.

"Take a small dollop of Dawn dish soap, put it on the lenses and then wash them off," Mathieson said. "Rinse them and let them air dry. That can actually prevent fogging."

Optometrists said eyeglass wearers can also tape a piece of tissue under the mask to prevent air from flowing up around the nose.

Mathieson said this may be a difficult time for some people to get contacts if they haven't looked into it before. One reason is because optometrists have to teach you how to insert and remove the contacts. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, some offices are now holding that training over video calls or in short sessions.

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