Although they offer protection from COVID-19, the worst part about wearing a face mask for eyeglass wearers is misting your glasses every time you take a breath. Fog makes it nearly impossible to see, and when combined with the cold outside weather, it presents an unpleasant and potentially dangerous dilemma.
I can’t remember the number of times I’ve taken my glasses off in frustration and quickly wiped them with any easily accessible piece of cloth, just so I didn’t run into anything.
I was familiar with sprays and anti-fog fabrics, but after a recent study from Duke University came out noting chemicals in some of these products could be harmful, I was hesitant to use them. Prior to this discovery, I had reached out to Jessica Reyes-Meliti, a licensed optometrist in New York State and general manager of Claremont Nichols Opticians, for information on how these sprays and fabrics work.
“Most anti-fog sprays, wipes, or treatments work by depositing a chemical to prevent condensation on the lenses,” Meletti said.
The Duke study found that many anti-fog sprays and fabrics contained high levels of fluorobutyl alcohols (FTOHs) and fluorotelomere ethoxylates (FTEOs), which are two types of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyls (PFAS). PFAS is widely used as “forever chemicals” that degrade slowly and have therefore been found surviving at low levels in the environment and humans. There are thousands of types of PFAS, and while the science is still out on whether there is any potential harm from FTOHs and FTEOs specifically, some other PFAS are known to be linked to poor immune function, cancer, thyroid disease, and other health conditions.
With this new information in mind, I researched alternative ways to prevent fogging of my glasses, and found other tools and hacks to help in addition to the Mileti spray recommendation.
HuffPost may receive input from purchases made via the links on this page. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.
Zeiss anti-fog spray
Aluminum sticky nose wires
Mild dish soap such as Mrs. Mayer Clean Day dish soap
NIOSH Approved N95 Collapsible Mask