As Malaga adjusts to the new normal of compulsory mask wearing, many locals have been looking for ways to resolve the problem of their glasses steaming up when wearing a face covering. Contact lenses have been the obvious choice for many, with the Spanish Optical Sector Federation noting a 72.9% rise in contact lens sales in the third trimester of 2020. On top of this, the usage of de-misting sprays and wipes has also been on the rise.
Manuel Gómez, a spokesperson for popular contact lens manufacturer CooperVision, has pointed to a link between the obligatory use of masks in public and the skyrocketing of lens sales in the country. He says it should be remembered that “Spain is one of the countries where wearing a mask is required at all times in public”, meaning that its national sales figures are particularly high.
Despite the surge in the use of lenses, 82% of the 25 million people in Spain with impaired vision still wear glasses, compared to the 13% using lenses. Perhaps unsurprisingly though, contact lenses tend to be more popular among younger people.
For those opting for glasses, sprays and wipes have been the most common tools to beat the mist. The high demand for these products has been noted by Malaga opticians, such as Carlos Díaz. He notes: “The interest tends to come from older people, who are less likely to use contact lenses”. Even so, he has noticed a marked increase in the sales of lenses, particularly going into last year’s summer months when mobility restrictions started to be loosened.
On top of this, the Spanish Optometry Society has released a statement stressing that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that traditional glasses provide better protection against the virus than contact lenses.