If you wear glasses and a mask, be careful with the mist. Do you know how it is affecting the health of your eyes?

We forgot it during the summer but it has returned in the fall. The myopic We have recovered the moment of going blind on the street because of the combination of glasses + mask. When contact lenses are not an option, walking down the street with this combo on your face can be a risky sport… and not just because of the risk of tripping. Unfortunately this year is also being a tough test for eye health, and not only because the coronavirus can affect our eyes, cases of visual fatigue due to overexposure to screens have multiplied and autumn is the time for conjunctivitis and red eyes . Now, in addition, to the list of eye hazards we must add the mist that forms on the glasses. Do you know what effect this mist of the mask has on our eyes? We tell you everything (including how to fix the problem and prevent it from becoming a risk).

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What effect does the mist in the glasses have on the eyes

In addition to making you mad, those foggy glasses have a direct effect on our eyes. "The air expelled when breathing tends to move up towards the eyes and this can cause, as a first consequence, dry eyes and irritation", he explains. Marta Urbano, optical optimetrist at Urbano Ópticos and member of CECOP's network of independent opticians. That hot air that reaches the eyes and "is trapped" between them and the glasses is capable of increase the evaporation of the natural tear that protects them.

In principle, that "dry microclimate" that is generated is more of a nuisance than a serious problem … if you did not have previous pathologies in the eye. If, for example, before this fall of coronavirus and masks you were already diagnosed with dry eye (a problem that affects 30% of adults in Spain and especially women over 50 years old), the situation worsens and may end in a visit to the ophthalmologist to prescribe artificial tears. adjusted to the new needs of the eye and capable of lubricating its surface under current circumstances.

In addition to dry eyes, wearing a mask for so many hours a day implies that at some point we can touch it and then put our hands to our eyes, with which we can become infected through this coronavirus route, one of the symptoms being conjunctivitis. And in people with especially sensitive skin some type of allergy, irritation or swelling may occur in the skin around the eye, which is especially sensitive. "The mandatory use of a mask also forces us to be more careful with its use, check that the materials do not cause allergies or irritations and if they are disposable, throw them away taking the necessary precautions to avoid risks," warns Marta Urbano.

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How to prevent wearing a mask from affecting your eyes (including the uncomfortable foggy glasses effect)

The solution is a pharmacy away or in the same ophthalmologist's office. For some of these risks, like touching your eyes when touching a mask full of coronavirus, It is only worth following the recommendation to wash your hands with soap and water often and avoid, as much as possible, touching your face.

And it doesn't hurt to invest in the masks that will best avoid your problem: those that allow you to properly fit them on the bridge of the nose. If the mask fits snugly in the upper area, the flow of air to the eyes is reduced and it is redirected to the sides, which helps to prevent a little exposure of the eyes to dryness.

Regarding fog, there are anti-fog gels, sprays and cloths that are applied to glasses and prevent fogging. Optical centers have supplied anti-fog products for many years for people who practice sports, motorcyclists, divers… and as long as they are used properly according to the manufacturer's instructions, they will not damage any lens. These products reduce the effect of fog on the lenses, yes, each one has its effectiveness and its duration ”, explains Marta Urbano.

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