Moisture chamber glasses, including sport goggles used as moisture chamber goggles, create a moist chamber around each of your eyes. This reduces dry eye pain but can interfere with vision if the lenses fog up. In addition, wearing moisture chamber goggles can put you at risk for an eye infection and can intensify an allergic response unless you keep the glasses or goggles sterile. (If you have eye allergies, see also the Allergic Eye Tips page.)
In order to use moisture chamber glasses or goggles successfully, you need to understand the topics described in each of the following sub-sections:
- How to prevent lens fogging
- How to keep glasses or goggles clean
- How to store or transport glasses and goggles
- Types of lenses
Some people can see very clearly when using a defogging method while wearing goggles. Others have more trouble getting defogging to work effectively.
The following table describes defogging options.
(if necessary, wait a few minutes)
|Some people can use moisture chamber glasses or moisture chamber goggles as is, without using any defogging method. If your glasses or goggles fog up initially when you first put them on, try waiting for 5 minutes (drink a cup of tea or put your feet up and listen to the radio). If your're lucky, the glasses or goggles might defog on their own after a few minutes.|
(might hurt your eyes)
|If you have only mild dry eyes and do not have eye
allergies, you might be able to use a commericial anti-fogging spray to
prevent fogging of your moisture chamber glasses or goggles. Some opticians
and some sporting goods stores carry an anti-fogging spray.
Caution Be careful not to get the spray in your eyes. Even if you are not allergic to the spray, your dry eyes might not be physically able to wash out the spray.
|Unisol 4 saline solution
|If you have allergic eyes and/or severely dry
eyes, using an anti-fogging spray can harm your eyes. A relatively inexpensive
defogging method that works for some lenses is to squirt some Unisol 4
preservative-free saline solution onto your lenses:
It is not easy to predict which lenses can or cannot be defogged by using saline solution. For example, although the Gator and Hilco swimming goggles look very similar, you cannot use a saline solution to defog the Gator goggle that we tested (you must use Refresh Lubricant Eye Drops instead), but you can use either saline or Refresh Lubricant Eye Drops to defog the Hilco goggle that we tested.
|Refresh Lubricant Eye Drops
(artificial tears that contain methylcellulose, such as Refresh Plus, will NOT work)
|If you have allergic eyes and/or severely dry
eyes, using an anti-fogging spray can harm your eyes.
A more expensive defogging method that works for many types of lenses is
to squirt the single-use artificial tear Refresh Lubricant Eye Drops onto your
Tip! If you wear moisture chamber glasses rather than goggles, you might need to use an elastic band (available from an optician) to pull the glasses towards your face so that they fit snugly against your face. Using the elastic will help prevent the artificial tears from evaporating.
Caring for moisture chamber glasses or goggles requires time and effort, especially for people who are prone to eye infectons or sties and for people with eye allergies.
You must clean goggles that come apart into pieces (such as Barz multi-purpose sport goggles or Gator, Hilco, or AquaSpecs swimming goggles) extra carefully when you first buy them. You must take them apart and clean each of the pieces. This is especially important if you have eye allergies. For example, when you first buy the goggles, was the optician who put them together wearing hand lotion? If so, you could have an allergic reaction to the goggles shortly after you put them on.
- The only sterile way to clean goggles that come apart into pieces is to take them apart and clean each of the pieces. Be sure to dry the pieces completely before reassembling the goggles. Do this at least once a day.
- Clean your goggles at a time when you are not in a hurry. It takes time and patience to successfully put either Barz or AquaSpecs goggles back together after taking them apart and cleaning them. Gator and Hilco goggles are easier to manage.
- Carry baking soda (in a clean container with a tight or screw-on lid) and lint-free tissues with you wherever you go in a purse or briefecase in case you need to clean the goggles while at work or unexpectedly while you are away from home.
- Carry a spare pair of goggles with you whenever you are away from home in case the ones you usually wear break (for example, the nosepiece or strap on some swimming goggles might eventually break).
|Cleaning Method||How To Clean the Glasses or Goggles|
|Warning!||Before you try any of these cleaning methods,
first ask your optometrist or optician if the method you want to try might damage
your lenses. Lens and lens coating technology is changing rapidly, and
DryEyePain does not know whether any of these methods might
ruin your lenses.
DryEyePain takes no responsibility for any damage that you might cause your lenses by trying to clean them.
We've had trouble at times damaging some of the lenses ourselves — hopefully, technology improvements will soon provide better lenses and lens coatings that are less easily scratched.Ask your optician or optometrist how to clean your lenses safely without damaging them.
|Daily cleaning —
for goggles that come apart into pieces
If you have sensitive eyes or encounter any allergens during the day, you might need to clean your goggles — especially goggles that come apart into pieces — several times a day.
|Daily cleaning —
PanOptx suggests dipping the goggles in a clean bowl of water to clean them and then air-drying them. However, if you have severe dry eyes or eye allergies, this method — which uses no cleaning agent — is not safe for your eyes and leaves you vulnerable to eye infections or allergic reactions.
A more sterile method:
|Daily cleaning —
Most non-PanOptx goggles
|Zeiss Pre-Moistened Cloths||
Ask your optician or optometrist if you can use the non-abrasive, ammonia-free Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cloths to safely clean your lenses. If you can, these single-use cloths can be handy, especially if you need to clean your goggles and don't have access to a sink. According to information printed on the box, these cloths safely clean "any lens," including prescription eyeglasses and sun and sport lenses.
Caution! Before you use a Zeiss or any other pre-moistened cloth on any lens, check with the person from whom you bought your goggles or check with the manufacturer — some moistening chemicals can damage some types of lenses. If you do use pre-moistened cloths, be sure to blow off any solid matter from the lens surface first, and then pat them dry very gently (do not rub).
You can find a vendor who sells Zeiss Pre-Moistened Cloths (or another type of pre-moistened cloth) by searching Google.com.
|Reusable Lens Cleaning Cloth||
Ask your optician or optometrist if you can use, for example, the reusable 3M Lens Cleaning Cloth on your goggles without scratching your lenses. Possible sources for these cloths include DrugStore.com or BassPro.com (search for "lens cleaning cloth"). Or search for "reusable lens cleaning cloth" on Google.com.
Caution If you have eye allergies or have frequent eye infections, reusing a cloth that is not clean might be harmful to your eyes. 3M lens cleaning cloths are washable, so consider buying seven cloths so that you can use a clean cloth each day, and then wash all of them once a week.
|100% Cotton Handkerchiefs||
An inexpensive option is to buy a supply of 100% cotton men's handkerchiefs to use to dry your moisture chamber glasses or goggles. If you have eye allergies or are susceptible to eye infections, buy 20 or 30 of them and be sure to use a clean one each time you dry newly washed glasses or goggles.
To store or transport moisture chamber glasses or goggles safely, buy an approximately 7" by 7" plastic box (such as Rubbermaid or Tupperware) at the grocery store. Clean it with baking soda, fragrance-free soap, or 99% rubbing alcohol each time before using it.
Alternatively, the inexpensive Kaiman goggles or Seal XP goggles often come with a hard-plastic carrying case. You can also use one of these cases (after cleaning it) to carry small prescription goggles, such as PanOptx, Gator, or Hilco.
Do not carry moisture chamber glasses or goggles in a container with a felt or other cloth liner. Use only containers that you can clean inside and out.
Carry baking soda (in a clean container with a tight or screw-on lid) and lint-free tissues with you wherever you go in a purse or briefecase in case you need to clean the goggles at work or unexpectedly while you are away from home.
As described in the following table, the type of lenses used and the types of coatings applied to the lenses can make it difficult or impossible to defog the lenses.
|Lens Issues||How Is Defogging Affected?|
|In most cases, CR-39 lenses are the easiest to defog.|
|High-index glass or high-index plastic lenses
|If you have a high prescription (severe myopia), you might need high index lenses because they are relatively thin. You can also usually (though not always) successfully defog these lenses. High index lenses are more expensive than CR-39 or polycarbonate lenses.|
|Polycarbonate lenses — the type that most optometrists or opticians order — are sometimes difficult to defog. This probably depends on the type of coatings used.|
Some coatings interfere with defogging!
|Coatings, such as an anti-reflective coating
which is water repellent, can impair the ability of artificial tears
to keep your lenses defogged. In addition, defogging chemicals permanently
applied to the lenses can also interfere with defogging lenses if you use the
defogging method that DryEyePain recommends (see How to prevent
lens fogging, described earlier).
Be proactive! If you don't ask about the type of lens to order and about any possible lens coatings, most optometrists or opticians will order polycarbonate lenses and the lens coatings that they are used to ordering without discussing the issue with you.
- Ask the optometrist or optician about the feasibility of using CR-39 or high index lenses rather than polycarbonate.
- Ask the optometrist or optician if you can test a lens of the same type and with the same coatings as the lenses that you plan to order. Squirt the lens with Refresh Lubricant Eye Drops (not Refresh Plus), or sprinkle it with plain water. If the artificial tears or the water does not spread evenly over the lens, then you will probably not be able to defog the lens.