Fogged glasses and masks have people frustrated; eye clinics see more foot traffic

Fogged glasses and masks have people frustrated; eye clinics see more foot traffic
Many people who wear glasses, and some who don't too, are experiencing increased eye strain during the pandemic due to working at home or participating in virtual learning. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Windshield wipers for eyeglasses never seemed so necessary until the pandemic hit. Fogged glasses while wearing your mask were annoying at first, but now for some, it’s downright uncomfortable.

“Our hot breath is not only allowing our glasses to fog up, but also cause a lot of eye pain and eye discomfort because the heat is making our eyes more dry,” said Dr. Bridgette Connorton, an optometrist at Achord Eye Clinic.

The last six months of remote work or school in front of a screen certainly don’t help either.

“We’re having a lot more kids and teenagers and young adults coming in because of the eye strain and eye fatigue that they’re having for this virtual learning,” said the optometrist.

Dr. Connorton says people are fed up with eye discomfort and come to her team at the Achord Eye Clinic for answers.

“We just forget that our eyeballs are consisted of muscle tissue, so it’s like we’re making our eyeballs go to the gym all day long and we never let them stop.”

Luckily, Dr. Connorton says eye drops and anti-fog sprays can help with the humid glasses, but eye strain relief will require a little more work.

“What’s happening is when we focus up close, we’re allowing those eye muscles to lock up,” she said. “And those eye muscles, we need to relax them too, just like any other muscle in our body. We have to give them a break.”

Too much screen time can mean blurry vision and headaches too. Dr. Connorton says your eyeball muscles need to look away from screens completely at some point in the day, especially before bed.

Devices emit blue light, which messes up your melatonin levels and sleep patterns.

“If you’re on a device very late a night, we’re not allowing that melatonin to regulate back up, so we’re not falling asleep as well or staying asleep as well," she said.

Try blue light-blocking glasses. The lenses help filter some of that harsh light from your screens and can help relieve eye strain. Remember to shut off the screens and close your eyelids a few times per day. If things start to look blurry, it’s time to go to the eye doctor.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.