Tips for Lens fogging and Mask-associated Dry Eyes

Covid Mask and Glasses

The pandemic has brought a wide range of changes to our everyday life and new challenges for our patients to overcome. The necessity to wearing masks to reduce the spread of COVID has created entirely new problems for our eyes and vision.

Lens fogging:

As you may know by this point, the use of masks to avoid transmission of respiratory particles during this pandemic is essential. Conversely, breathing out warm air and droplets which can no longer disperse in the air are often directed upward towards the eyes. The water vapor in the breath condenses on the cooler surface of the lenses leading to a blurry image (think of the shower door steaming up).

Ways to reduce lens fogging:

  • Make sure your mask fits well – select a mask that can mould to your nose, often with a small, bendable metal strip
  • Clean lenses with soapy water – the soap can lead a thin film on the lenses which makes it more difficult to fog up. You want to let the lenses air dry or dry with a microfiber cloth. Be sure not to use abrasive soaps or abrasive rubbing to be sure not to damage the lenses.
  • Seal the mask – some have tried double-sided tape on the inside top edge of the mask to ensure a tight seal. Be aware this could cause skin irritation or allergy.
  • Try de-fogging products – An anti-fog wipe is sold at West Broward Eyecare Associates. Be sure to ask your doctor.
  • Consider switching to contact lenses

Mask-associated Dry Eyes

Eye doctors were already aware that regular air blowing on the eyes tends to dry them out more frequently. We have regularly seen cases where car air conditioning vents pointed towards the eyes, overhead fans, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines cause dryness. If all day long we are breathing out into a mask that is preventing the air from dissipating into the air, oftentimes the air seeps out the top of the mask leading to dryness.

Ways to deal with Mask associated dry eye:

  • Make sure your mask fits well – as stated above, mould the mask to your nose to reduce the air that can exit the top of the mask
  • Take breaks to blink – especially when working on the computer, breaks every 20 minutes allow you to rewet the surface of your eyes as we often forget to blink when focusing for long periods
  • Apply lubricating eye drops – these can be found at most drug stores, but may not be a permanent fix
  • Discuss with your doctor about other techniques to help!


Dr. Sara Rasekhi
Dr. Sara Rasekhi
Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates
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