Fog? Here's How to Combat It

January 12, 2022
Erin Williams, RDH

Now more than ever, more people are experiencing the nuisance that has plagued some for too long - having your loupes, face shield or glasses fog up because you're wearing a face mask. Let's look at what causes this to happen and then we'll cover some ways to mitigate it.

What causes fogging up?

It really all comes down to temperatre. The problem is your breath - unless you keep your office thermostat set at 98° (is that even possible?), your equipment is going to be at a lower temperature than your breath. When your warm breath hits the cooler surface (lenses or shield), it causes it to condense which creates "fog" on it.

Unfortunately, there isn't really any way to lower the temperature of your breath. However, there are some measures you can take to combat your breath hitting your equipment and clouding your vision.

How do I stop my Loupes, face shield, or glasses from fogging up?

There are a few ways to help mitigate this.

1. Make sure your mask is sealed effectively.

Often, a face mask (such as the N95) doesn't have a very good seal around the top of the mask. This allows your breath to escape and directly hit your equipment. A simple way to seal this area would be with some tape, cloth, foam, or other comfortable material. Simply cut it or roll it so that it can rest inside the inside the top of the mask so that air cannot escape toward your equipment. This will prevent your equipment from fogging up.

We recommend using this tape which is readily available to order from Amazon.

2. Warm up your equipment before using it.

Is your office cool when you get to work in the morning? Then all of the equipment in there will be too and it will be prone to fogging up. Is there a window in your office where sunlight comes in? Set your Loupes or shield in the sunlight for a few minutes before using them. Don't mind wearing them around? Wearing them for a few minutes before a procedure can increase the temperature as well.

airflowYou would think this would go without saying, but... please do not put your equipment in a microwave.

3. Increase the air flow in and around your equipment.

If there is nowhere for the warm breath to go then it will most likely fog up your equipment. Ensuring there is a decent flow of air on and around your face will help mitigate this fogging issue. If you're using a face shield that would prevent that, cutting some small holes in the top would improve the airflow and reduce fogging.

If you have any other methods you use to combat your equipment fogging up, let us know in the comments!

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