By Denis Langlois
Diane Irvine has been in search of a clear solution to foggy lenses for some time.
And she’s not alone.
Since wearing a face mask indoors has become mandatory in multiple Canadian jurisdictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, scores of eyeglass wearers like Irvine have been dealing with an increasingly familiar conundrum: walking into a fog at stores, malls, workplaces and other locations.
“It’s really frustrating,” she says. “You have to deal with it when you’re going from outside to inside and it’s becoming more frequent in winter. It’s a real pain having to take off your glasses every time you walk into a store to wipe off the condensation.”
While it’s mostly only an inconvenience, fogging lenses can be potentially dangerous as well, like in a car or when inadvertently encountering a trip hazard.
“I know that wearing a mask is important to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but I really wish I can find a way to prevent my glasses from fogging up,” Irvine says.
Health Canada recommends wearing a non-medical face mask in shared indoor spaces to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Mask-induced fogging happens when moist, warm exhaled air, directed upwards and out of the top of the mask, hits the cooler surface of the lenses.
In these COVID times, the foggy lens dilemma has become so common that multiple articles have been written about potential solutions, ranging from sealing the top of the mask with a bandage to putting a folded tissue over the bridge of the nose to absorb moisture before it hits the lens.
Optical companies have developed more innovative and convenient solutions that eye care professionals can recommend to patients.
Essilor’s solution to foggy lenses is Optifog, an anti-fog coating that is activated with the help of an Optifog activator cloth.
A wide range of Essilor’s lenses are available with this special coating, including Varilux progressives and Eyezen+. It’s also available on Varilux Digitime lenses, which have been designed for users of digital devices.
Each activator cloth lasts for up to three months or 450 uses. Two cloths come with each pair of Optifog lenses.
The coating is guaranteed for two years and comes with a 180-day satisfaction guarantee.
CLEAR-IT WITH HOYA
Hoya’s Clear-it Anti-Fog wipes can be used on anti-reflective and uncoated lenses to prevent fogging.
One cloth can be used on 60 pairs of regular-sized eyeglasses.
Every application offers 24 hours of fog-free eyeglasses if the humidity is below 60 degrees and the lenses are kept from getting wet.
Bollé’s Platinum is a permanent coating that represents the highest level of expertise in anti-fog and anti-scratch protection.
The coating – used on Bollé Safety protective glasses that are trusted by professionals in demanding industries like automotive, construction, mining, or pharmaceutical – are available to consumers within Bollé’s Phantom and Phantom+ lens range.
There are Phantom styles in Bollé’s Sport Performance and Sport Lifestyle collections.
NIKON’S ANTI-FOG FORMULA
Nikon has launched in Canada the Nikon Anti-Fog Lens Cloth, designed to prevent fog accumulation on lenses while wearing a face mask.
The anti-fog formula has an immediate effect on the lenses and will last up to 12 hours before the next application. The premium material helps preserve the benefits of the Nikon coatings and will last for up to 12 months or 300 activations.
Silhouette has launched a new reusable anti-fog cleaning cloth that provides free and clear vision, especially during mask use, across both optic eyewear and sunglasses
The microfiber cloth works by minimizing surface tension, thereby preventing condensation. The anti-fogging properties create a film of water instead of single droplets, and this prevents the lens from fogging.
After every use of the cleaning cloth, lenses will remain fog-free for up to 12 hours. The anti-fog cloth can be used up to 300 times and is usable for up to 12 months.
Dynamic Labs has available to Canadian ECPs the Premium AR Fog Stopper, which has been designed to be safe on all anti-reflective coatings.
Two drops of the product prevents fogging on all lens types for hours.
Dynamic Labs co-founder Steven Zwerman said the Fog Stopper has been on the market for years, but its popularity has soared during the pandemic. The reorder rate from ECPs is more than 99 per cent, he said.
“The demand is just off the charts,” he said.
Kleargo Optical Products & Accessories has several anti-fog products available to Canadian ECPs.
The company offers a Zero-Fog spray, Zero-Fog Anti-Fog stick and, new this year, a Zero-Fog Anti-Fog cloth.
“Once mask mandates started being introduced, we saw a massive uptick in anti-fog demand and are constantly filling new bottles to keep up with demand. Our products are made and bottled in Ville Saint-Laurent, so we have been able to keep enough in stock not to run out at any point so far,” says Kleargo’s Mitchell Lefebvre.
Shilling Optical’s Microclair anti-fog lens treatment is an alcohol-free product that provides clear, fog-free viewing for all lens types and coatings, including anti-reflective lenses.
The Made-in-Canada product lasts up to all day and is also ideal for sports and safety eyewear.
For optimum results put a drop on each side of the lens, spread evenly with your finger, let dry and lightly buff with a microfiber cloth.