Experts provide advice on how to wear a mask without fogging up with lenses or short breath

Yes, wearing a mask can be uncomfortable or frustrating, especially if you are not used to it. People who wear glasses, who are anxious to breathe properly, or who wear masks for long periods of time face particular challenges.

But healthcare workers, who have long worn face masks as part of their daily work, have developed a number of useful solutions that we would like to share.

How do I prevent my lenses from fogging up?

For people with glasses, wearing a mask can blur their lenses, reducing their vision. As you exhale, your warm breath shoots up through the top of the mask. When it hits the coldest lens, it cools, condensing or fogging.

Having to keep removing your glasses to clean them and putting them back on is a risk of infection. Therefore, preventing or minimizing fogging is the key. Here are some tips:

1. Soap and water. – wash your glasses with soap and water (like a regular detergent), then dry them with a microfiber cloth. This type of fabric generally comes free with every pair of glasses. You can also buy cheap microfiber cloths from most optometrists. The facial tissues can leave lint, which draws moisture to the lenses. Soap reduces surface tension, preventing fog from sticking to lenses.

2. shaving foam – apply a thin layer of shaving cream to the inside of your glasses, then gently wipe it off. The residual shaving cream will protect the lenses from fog.

3. Defoliate spray – You can use a commercial de-fog spray that dries clear. But make sure it’s compatible with your lens type or existing lens coatings. You can buy anti-fog spray online or at your optometrist.

4. Close the gap in surgical masks – mold the bridge of the nose on the top of your surgical mask to your face to reduce the gap that allows hot, humid air to reach the glasses.

5. Cable ties and pipe cleaners – If you are making your own mask out of fabric, add a tie (for example, a loaf of bread) or a pipe cleaner to the top seam of your homemade mask and adjust it to your nose for the same effect.

6. tape – Some healthcare professionals apply a strip of tape specially designed to be used on the skin at the top edge of the mask to close the gap. You can buy a roll online or at the pharmacy.

7. Wet tissue – slightly moistening a scarf, folding it and placing it under the top edge of the mask also does the trick.

8. Nylon stocking – Victoria’s health department says it can also be snug on the cheeks and bridge of the nose by wearing a layer of nylon stockings over a face mask.

Unfortunately, there is no magic trick, like putting on your mask first or glasses that will stop tarnishing. Improving the fit around the curve of the nose and cheeks is the best approach.

I am anxious to wear a mask. What I can do?

Putting on a mask can make you feel anxious or difficult to breathe normally, especially if you are new to wearing a mask.

Fortunately, the World Health Organization and others say there is no evidence that a face mask causes a decrease in blood oxygen or an increase in blood carbon dioxide levels for normal daily activities.

If you feel anxious about wearing a mask, here are some tips:

9. Practice at home – Take a few minutes before leaving the house to get used to the feeling of wearing a mask. Slow down, breathe gently, with a slower, longer inhalation and exhalation as you focus on the fact that air is reaching your lungs and coming out safely again.

10. Try a different mask – If you still feel like breathing is hard, try a different mask, use a commercially available design, or use different materials on your next home mask project.

What can I do to prevent my ears from hurting?

Once you have worn a face mask for several hours, you may notice discomfort around the ears as the ear muffs can irritate the skin. This is what you can do:

11. Wear a headband with buttons … – One solution is to wear a headband with two stitched buttons. Sew on the buttons so that they sit behind the ears. Instead of wrapping the mask around the ears, instead of the buttons. This takes pressure off the skin, increases comfort, and helps you keep the mask on longer.

12.… or a paper clip – unfold two paper clips and wrap them around a headband, placing them behind the ears again. Leave enough clipboard exposed to hook your hooks, then press down to hold the hooks in place.

13. 3D printing – Free available 3D printer templates allow you to print your own hearing protectors.

Worth doing well

It may take a few tries to get used to wearing a mask. But with a little trial and error, your glasses should remain fog-free, your ears comfortable, and any anxiety about wearing a mask should be lessened.

Wearing a mask in public is another thing we can do to help keep ourselves and the community safe, along with social distancing and hand hygiene. The conversation

Craig Lockwood, Associate Professor of Implementation Sciences, University of Adelaide and Zoe Jordan, Executive Director, JBI, University of Adelaide.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.