Fogging. What could be more simple than this? It turns out fogging is a little more complicated than I first imagined. The word alone has multiple definitions and meanings, all to do with context. So, an anti-fog spray for glasses would have to be very specific in what it does.
The acceptable meaning of the word “Fogging” that we’ll be looking at, as provided by thefreedictionary.com takes us back to the word “Fog.” This is a very clear definition of the type of “Fog” we’ll be looking at:
A mist or film clouding a surface, as of a window, lens, or mirror
So, What Is Fogging?
As a prescription glasses wearer myself, I understand what fogging is, just in case you’re not sure however I’ll try to describe it. Any warm, moist current of air coming into contact with the, typically, cooler lenses you’re wearing will create a layer of water droplets on your lenses. This layer of water droplets pretty much blocks your view of the world. This in a nutshell is fogging.
I recall when being on a job site, one of the guys had a huge problem with his safety glasses fogging. He was a large guy and his safety glasses fit him very snugly. The weather was very hot and humid also, perfect conditions for safety glasses to fog. He had to stop many times in order to clear his lenses.
Why Does Fogging Occur?
As previously mentioned fogging occurs due to the temperature difference between the surface of your lenses and a warmer or cooler, moist air current. In the case of the worker on the job site I referred to earlier, his main problem was the very snug fit of the safety glasses. There was no air flow to speak of, it was a hot, humid day and everyone was sweating. A perfect kind of situation to experience fogging on your safety glasses.
Fogging is being experienced by many more people as they begin to wear masks. If the mask isn’t fitted correctly to the face, then fogging will occur. This will be mask dependent so not every suggestion that could be made will work with every type of mask. Usually however, the mask over the nose is not held down correctly, allowing the warm moist breath of the wearer to escape upwards to the cool lenses and this will give instant fogging!
How To Deal With Fogging.
In the case of a mask being pretty much responsible for the fogging, there are several ways I know of to help prevent this. The first is relevant if you have a nose piece on the mask that can be bent down. Probably what’s happening is the nose piece hasn’t been bent down enough, allowing breath to escape from the top of the mask to the bottom of the lenses, so bending the nose piece down a little more to close the gaps should do the trick.
The second way works with a mask not having a nose piece. Simply pull the mask up over the nose a little more, then put the bottom of the safety glasses over the top of the mask. This should help prevent further fogging of your safety glasses, at least from the mask.
How To Prevent Fogging.
Alright, now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty of what we need to know, how to prevent this from happening in the first place. I’ve seen some interesting “Home remedies” and my personal response is they are interesting but are probably not the way to go for me, especially if I will be using them on expensive lenses.
Safety glasses over prescription framed glasses may not be the most expensive item I own, but it’s nice to be able to see out of them and the glasses at the same time, with no scratches on either pair.
I would suggest the preferable way forward is to use something that is made specifically to be an anti-fogging product. These products help reduce the surface tensions of the water molecules on the lenses. With the reduced tension of the water molecules, they are not so attracted to each other, ensuring they will not collect into a fog on the lenses.
There are at least three types of products available today that will help prevent fogging. Firstly, is an anti-fog spray that simply needs to be sprayed onto each lens, front and back before being wiped off with a microfiber cloth.
The second method is using an anti-fog wipe on your lenses, once again wiping dry with a microfiber cloth when finished. The third way, I’m not too wild about, is to spread a paste or cream onto the lenses before wiping the paste off with whatever comes with the paste product for that purpose. Just because I’m not wild about it doesn’t mean you may not like it, so it’s mentioned in this post.
It should be mentioned that the conditions and solutions for fogging are pretty much the same for safety goggles so pretty much the same will apply.
What Do We Know?
We’ve looked at what fogging is, a thin layer of water droplets on either side, or both sides, of your lenses. We’ve seen why it happens, that it occurs due to the temperature difference between your lenses and a current of moist air. That current of air nowadays is probably your breath escaping from a poorly fitted mask. We’ve also seen fogging will occur during hot humid days and closely fitting or snug safety glasses, so give the glasses a little room and it will help.
We’ve also seen there are multiple types of products available to prevent fogging of your lenses, on the market. These products fall into three different types, an anti-fog spray, paste or cream and last but no means least, anti-fog wipes. Personally I prefer the anti-fog spray as I find the whole process to be simpler, cleaner and quicker. But that’s just me.
I have laid out the why’s and wherefores for you and hopefully you have found enough here to make an informed decision concerning how you’ll deal with your fogged up lenses. You will now be able to choose from either of the three different types of anti-fog products available on the market today.
If you have any comments or questions regarding this post, please feel free to leave me a comment below.
Aim for zero accidents and be safe!