Free access
Brief Report
Published Online March 2011

A simple method to prevent spectacle lenses misting up on wearing a face mask

Publication: The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England
Volume 93, Number 2

BACKGROUND

Theatre staff who wear spectacles can find their spectacle lenses misting up on wearing a face mask. This effect can be a nuisance and even incapacitate the person. A simple method to prevent this annoying phenomenon is highlighted.

TECHNIQUE

Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess. Then, let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn.

DISCUSSION

The face mask directs much of the exhaled air upwards where it gets into contact with the spectacle lenses. The misting occurs from the warm water vapour content condensing on the cooler surface of the lens, and forming tiny droplets that scatter the light and reduce the ability of the lens to transmit contrast.1 The droplets form because of the inherent surface tension between the water molecules. Washing the spectacles with soapy water leaves behind a thin surfactant film that reduces this surface tension and causes the water molecules to spread out evenly into a transparent layer. This ‘surfactant effect’ is widely utilised to prevent misting of surfaces in many everyday situations.

Supplementary Material

File (rcsann.2011.93.2.168b.mp4)

Reference

1.
Margrain TH, Owen C. The misting characteristics of spectacle lenses. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 1996; 16: 108–14.

Information & Authors

Information

Published In

cover image The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England
The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England
Volume 93Number 2March 2011
Pages: 168
PubMed: 22041151

History

Published in print: March 2011
Published online: 14 May 2015

Permissions

Request permissions for this article.

Authors

Affiliations

Sheraz Shafi Malik
Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust Bedford, UK
Shahbaz Shafi Malik
Trauma and Orthopaedics (ST1), Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Birmingham, UK

Notes

CORRESPONDENCE TO Sheraz Shafi Malik, E: [email protected]

Metrics & Citations

Metrics

Article Metrics

Views
289
Citations
Crossref 13

Citations

Export citation

Select the format you want to export the citation of this publication.

View Options

View options

PDF

View PDF

PDF Plus

View PDF Plus

Get Access

Login Options

Check if you have access through your login credentials or your institution to get full access on this article.

Subscribe and get full access to this article.

Buy Article
A simple method to prevent spectacle lenses misting up on wearing a face mask Vol.93 • Issue 2 • 24 hours access
GBP 19.99
Add to cart

Restore your content access

Enter your email address to restore your content access:

Note: This functionality works only for purchases done as a guest. If you already have an account, log in to access the content to which you are entitled.

Media

Figures

Other

Tables

Share

Share

Copy the content Link

Share with email

Email a colleague

Share on social media