For Dry Eye patients wearing a face mask that doesn’t fit properly can be challenging. That’s because each exhalation that blows over the eyes speeds up tear film evaporation. Then the thinner layer of tear film doesn’t protect the eyes well, so the exhalation feels like a fan blowing at full strength.
It’s a vicious cycle.
If you wear glasses to protect your eyes (or for vision), not only do your eyes feel bad, but your glasses fog up. They get foggier, and your eyes get even more uncomfortable, when you walk down the frozen food aisle of a supermarket.
How to Wear a Face Mask When You Have Dry Eye
Thankfully, we found a simple solution courtesy of a video by Dr. George Yang, a double board certified New York surgeon. Dr. Yang recorded the video for medical and nursing students, but Dry Eye and MGD patients can learn from it too.
In the video, Dr. Yang shows how to get a better fit when wearing a surgical mask. We tried his simple technique with three face masks, all with the metal strip that hugs the nose: procedural masks from CVS, KN-95 (the Chinese version of the N-95), and Dr.K Mask from V-Zero in Korea. (We didn’t have an N-95).
His technique worked with each mask. The masks hugged the nose and cheeks, preventing exhalations from reaching the eyes.
Watch Dr. Yang’s video: Surgeon’s Tips: Stop Fogging & Improve Seal on Medical Face Masks
Note: if you can get them, V-Zero brand Dr.K Masks get high marks for comfort.
Wear to Buy Surgical Masks
One great source is Project N95. “Project N95 is a national non-profit working to protect people and their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.” Project N95 sells only reliable, high-quality masks that meet required standards. Masks come in a variety of styles and sizes at a variety of price points.
Preventing Air Flow with 7eye Glasses
If you can’t get a good seal between your mask and your face, 7eye glasses may be a solution. 7eye Dry Eye glasses have silicone eye cups that retain moisture and protect the eyes from wind and drafts.
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