The Fog Days Are Over

October 23, 2020

As a real estate professional, you may be wearing a mask most of the day as you meet with clients. But a few annoyances may be getting in the way of making this one pandemic safety consideration comfortable.

One of the most common gripes: “My glasses fog up!”

Here’s why it happens: “The hot air from your breath escapes from the top of your mask and lands on the cooler surface of your lens,” says Dr. Marie Budev, a pulmonary medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Foggy glasses tend to occur when your mask doesn’t fit well.

Consumer Reports says the fix for this is to find a mask with a metal wire sewn over the top—the part that fits on the bridge of your nose. Pinch the top of the mask so it fits the shape of your nose. Tighten the sides of the mask by adjusting the straps. As long as your mask fits snugly, your glasses shouldn’t fog up, experts say.

Medical tape can also be used on the bridge of your nose to close the gap between your nose and mask. Also try anti-fogging sprays that are specially designed for glasses. Even washing your glasses with soap and water before putting them on could prevent the fog. (Check with your optician; some soaps can harm the coatings on the lenses.)

Another common gripe related to wearing a mask: “I can’t hear or understand the other person.”

A mask is “a physical barrier that blocks sound, and when a mask touches your lips, it can cause speech to be mumbled,” Dr. Douglas Hildrew, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at the Yale School of Medicine, told Consumer Reports. “Human beings are emotional creatures, and even if we don’t lip-read, we get a lot of information from visual cues, like whether a person is smiling, or their facial expression.”

Experts say that when you're wearing a mask, be sure to speak slowly and clearly so that others can understand what you’re saying. You needn’t speak louder, they say.

View more fixes for common mask complaints at Consumer Reports.

How to Fix Your Annoying Mask,” Consumer Reports (Aug. 12, 2020)