Solving the Problem of Fogged Eyewear in Hot Weather

fogged safety glassesWith increased summertime temperatures comes increased problems with fogging eyewear, which can lead to serious safety issues for those working outside. From construction workers to first responders to welders, dealing with the problem of fogging can become a constant struggle and frustration. Fortunately, viable solutions exist.

First, let’s understand the problem by looking at the main causes of fogging eyewear.

Causes of Fogging

Fogging happens when there is a temperature difference between the inner and outer surface of lenses, kind of like what happens when a glass of cold water sweats when sitting outside in the sun. The factors contributing to fogging include:

  • Ambient heat, best understood when thinking of how much hotter the inside of a car sitting in the sun is than the actual outside temperature.
  • Tight eyewear, like found with goggles and wrap-around glasses, preventing air flow.
  • Increased humidity in the air settling on lenses.
  • Human exertion adding body heat and moisture through sweat.

Anyone working outside in warm weather can struggle with fogging eyewear, those who also wear face shields (welders, tactical officers, first responders) have increased problem with fogging lenses in the heat.

The most obvious struggle involves the inconvenience of eliminating the fog by continually having to clean lenses. But those with an eye for safety also realize the significant safety issues resulting from having to deal with fogged up safety eyewear.

Safety Issues Caused by Fogged Eyewear

Safety issues caused by fogging eyewear fall into two categories.

  1. Non-Compliance – Unfortunately, a solution for many is to remove their safety eyewear, making them vulnerable to a host of eye injuries.
  2. Impaired Vision – When eyewear is fogged, workers cannot see their best if at all, and this leads to increased possibility of injury.

A third problem caused by fogging eyewear involves the lost productivity that comes when workers are injured from not wearing safety eyewear or not being able to see properly due to fogging or when workers must stop work to safely deal with fogged-up lenses.

Independent research, as reported in OH&S, confirms the significant problem of fogging eyewear. That research found that fogging is the number one vision-related barrier to wearing safety glasses. In addition, 28% of safety professionals believed fogged eyewear had contributed to injuries in their own workplaces.

5 Solutions for Fogging Eyewear in Hot Weather

While no product provides 100% fog-proof protection, solutions do exist for all but eliminating fogging as a problem. Consider the following 5 suggestions for eliminating fogged eyewear both as a safety hazard and an annoyance.

  1. Start simple. Often, just a simple change in eyewear design makes all the difference. Changing the style of eyewear may provide the right amount of airflow to prevent fogging.
  2. Use a strap. Non-compliance often comes when workers remove glasses because of fog and fail to put them back on. With the goal of 100% compliance, wearing a strap to keep glasses always at least increases the chance for compliance.
  3. Apply anti-fog coating. In many cases, employers report the almost 100% elimination of problems caused by fogging eyewear after workers are provided with and apply anti-fog coating to their safety eyewear (glasses, goggles & shields). Knowing HowtoUseAnti-FogSolutions may be the key to eliminating fogged-up eyewear.
  4. Buy Anti-Fog Eyewear. Almost uncountable options exist when it comes to finding Anti-FogSafetyGlasses. Options include nearly any lens tint, bifocal lenses, polarized lenses and a variety of frame styles and fits, including those with attached LED lights.
  5. Go extreme. For most, glasses with anti-fog coating are enough to solve the problem, but for a few others (for example, those needing to wear both prescription eyewear and safety eyewear or those working in extreme heat) ExtremeAnti-FogGoggles with specific techniques to reduce fogging in extreme conditions are necessary. Those techniques include dual-pane lenses to eliminate condensation and built-in fans to forcefully remove moisture.

Don’t fall victim to fogging, one of the most common causes of non-compliance, not to mention one of the biggest frustrations regarding safety eyewear. Consider the root cause of your particular fogging problem and then take the necessary steps to eliminate it by implementing one or more of the proposed solutions.

For additional information on this topic, see 7 ThingsYouDidntKnowAboutAnti-FogSafetyGlasses.

About Michael Eldridge

Michael Eldridge is the Founder and CEO of Safety Glasses USA, one of the web's largest providers of safety glasses and goggles. He's a US Marine Veteran who's particularly passionate about protective eyewear and helping people learn about vision safety. In his spare time he enjoys target shooting, fishing, camping with his family and watching Detroit Tigers baseball. You can follow Michael on Twitter @MikeEldridge73, Google or via the Safety Glasses USA Facebook Page.