Which Kind of Face Mask Is the Best Protection Against Viruses?
Date : Jun 16, 2020
Author : DR Armed Zayed
Face masks are currently in high demand. These facial coverings have become a staple for protecting people against the ongoing pandemic. Most of the population are wondering what’s the best face mask for virus protection.
Since the virus broke out, everyone has been stocking on all kinds of facial coverings they can get their hands on. But, the problem is, not every face mask will offer the ultimate protection against the coronavirus.
The question is, what kind of face mask should you wear? What is the best form of protection currently on the market? If you want to differentiate between all the face masks for sale, we’ve prepared a detailed guideline for you. Here are a couple of face mask tips you should know about.
Why Do Face Masks Take Such a Predominant Role?
Over 50 countries have made face masks mandatory. Now, millions of people wear them every single day. But very few actually understand how do face masks work.
The reason why these coverings have become a necessity is relatively simple. They are the primary layer of protection from the pandemic. They aid people by:
• Limiting face to face or hand contact. The masks act as a physical barrier between a contaminant and the wearer’s lungs.
• Reduces the spread of the infection. It’s vital to know how to wear a face mask when sick. If a user is infected, the mask will trap all the particles from the infection inside the mask and prevent them from getting airborne. It protects those around the infected individual.
• Decreases infection rates. People should also know how to wear facemasks when not sick. Wearing a mask shields the user from getting infected by inhaling airborne particles. This helps individuals protect themselves.
Because of their massive impact, people are encouraged to wear a face mask as a protection protocol against the coronavirus. It’s vital to have at least one, reusable face mask for every member of the family.
Best Face Mask For Virus Protection
Face masks are the go-to choice when trying to stay safe from the epidemic, alongside proper hygiene and social distancing measures.
But, what you wear matters and you need to pick the best face mask for virus protection that won’t expose you to airborne particles. Here is everything you need to know about face masks and which type you should go for.
Respirators – Best Face Mask For Virus Covers for Professional Use
Respirators are seal and fit tested facial coverings manufactured of tangled fibres. Their sturdy surface makes them the most efficient option for filtering air pathogens. Each respirator mask has to fit the strict NIOSH standards before it is ready for sale.
However, there are different kinds of respirators with various efficiency rates:
• N100 respirators are designed to filter 99.7% of the airborne particles.
• N99 respirators can filter 99% of the airborne particles.
• N95 respirators are meant to filter 95% of the airborne particles.
Many are equipped with a valve, which helps the air get out and makes it easier for the wearer to breathe.
Even though these are the best face masks for protection against COVID-19, they should be left to the healthcare personnel working in the frontline, recommends the CDC.
People who are not constantly in contact with the virus don’t need such rigorous facial coverings. And since there is a shortage of masks and medical equipment, anyone in the healthcare industry could use these respirators.
Surgical Mask – Best Face Mask Virus Cover For Day To Day Use
Surgical facial coverings are a single-use protection measure designed to expand as you cover the jaw, mouth, and nose. They are manufactured of synthetic fabric, which is a breathable material.
Compared to the respirators, these facial coverings don’t require strict standards. They can’t form an airtight seal either but are the best option for protecting people from the coronavirus on a day to day basis.
Based on reports, they can filter out the pathogens from 10% to 90%.
Even though they are not as efficient as respirators, they offer just the right layer of protection from respiratory diseases for anyone that is not on the frontline working with COVID-19 infected patients. They are an excellent option for consistent use and a practical solution for shielding the lungs from airborne droplets.
Cloth Masks – Best Face Mask To Protect From Germs If Made Correctly
If you’ve decided to make your own washable facial covering, you’ve definitely gone for a cloth mask. These masks can protect the wearer from airborne particles, but only if they are the right fit. Otherwise, all the gaps near the jaw, cheeks, and nose will expose you to the virus and can get inhaled.
Plus, some fabrics are not good enough to keep out the droplets. Compared to its surgical counterpart, it might not be the best alternative. But it is much better than not wearing anything.
So, if you prefer to wear a cloth mask, make sure it fits perfectly and doesn’t have any gaps. Also, use 100% cotton fabric to add layers of protection, recommends the CDC. This is a common material used when making bedsheets. It has plenty of layers and is just thick enough.
However, avoid any material that is extremely thick, like a vacuum cleaner bag, or you will have trouble breathing. If you want to add even more protection, you can add DIY filters, like paper towels or coffee filters. This is the ultimate option for creating a safe facial covering.
What Kind of Mask Should You Pick?
Infected individuals should wear a surgical mask to prevent the spread of the disease, experts suggest. But, these types of face masks are also practical for daily use.
People who don’t have a surgical facial covering or want to make their own can wear a cloth mask, preferably from 100% cotton.
For caregivers, medical workers, and frontline doctors, respirators are the ultimate choice. They need the highest layer of protection with proper filters so that they won’t be exposed to the infection.
The U.S., for example, focuses on N95 respirators for medical personnel. However, due to the lack of proper equipment and mask shortages, there aren’t enough N95 respirators for every caregiver. That’s why it’s best to leave these masks for doctors who work with COVID-19 patients.
Should You Dispose of Your Mask or Reuse It?
Cloth masks can be washed and reused. However, surgical masks are meant to be thrown away. The material can tear, which makes it very difficult for washing. Respirators can either be reusable or disposable. The reusable alternatives allow you to change the filter. Depending on the level of exposure, these filters will have to be replaced after 3 to 8 hours.
Facial coverings are a crucial factor for fending off respiratory illnesses, like the coronavirus. When paired with adequate hygiene and social distancing, they can be an excellent option for avoiding the disease. Of course, each type of facial covering is not without its flaws and effect.
Depending on the material you use, the construction, and filter, they can help you prevent the invasion of pathogens and protect the lungs. The three main options for best face mask for virus protection to choose from are surgical, respirators, or cloth coverings.
Respirators offer the ultimate protection. But are meant for people working with close proximity to infected individuals. Surgical and cloth coverings should be your top-priority for day-to-day use. Let us know if you found this guide helpful in the comment section below.
How Useful Are Face Masks?
Date : Mar 18, 2020
Author : DR Armed Zayed
Since early December 2019, we have been faced with an outbreak of a new virus recognized as the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes dangerous COVID-19 disease. Many people have lost their lives because of this new disease that has recently spread all around the world, with the most affected countries being China, Italy, South Korea, Spain, and many others.
And the virus does not seem to stop, taking more and more lives each day. And so, since the virus first started spreading, we see more people walking around wearing gloves and surgical face masks in hopes of avoiding to get affected by this virus. But the question is – Are the surgical masks really helpful? Could they protect you against the COVID-19?
Are face masks worth it?
Each day we learn something new about the SARS-CoV-2 and the way that it keeps affecting more people around the world. We do know that it spreads through respiratory droplets and direct person-to-person contact. It is only natural to think that a face mask would prevent you from being affected.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), face masks should not be worn by people who are not affected by the COVID-19, unless their doctor has instructed them otherwise. A face mask is a must, however, for anyone who has been showing symptoms of COVID-19, has recently traveled to a high-risk country, or are asymptomatic carriers of the virus that have tested positive. A face mask, in this case, is meant to prevent further spreading of the virus and the disease itself.
Unfortunately, a plain old surgical mask is not enough. Because it is not thick enough, doctors think of it as ineffective when it comes to preventing this infection. Instead, they encourage people to buy a specialized mask called N95 respirator. The reason for that is because the N95 respirator is thicker than the usual surgical mask.
During surgery, the surgical mask is worn to prevent the surgeon’s pathogens from entering the surgical field. However, it is not meant to keep out viral particles from entering your body. Plus, it is placed loosely on your face, not being tightly fitted around your nose and cheeks. Also, surgical masks should be disposed of after one use as they are not meant to be reused in the future.
The mask covers the nose, cheeks, chin, and mouth. But because of it being thicker and generally bigger than the surgical mask, breathing can be a challenge. Past reports have talked about it being even a bit claustrophobic, but if it will protect us against the SARS-CoV-2 it is worth using it.
But the mask is not magical and proper fitting is a must. If there is any free space between the mask and the parts of your face that it covers, letting air come in and out of there, it will not do much for you in terms of protection. Instead, it is meant to be tightly fitted on the face. You may ask a doctor or a pharmacist to give you some instructions on how to properly fit your mask.
If you are worried and want to be safe, we recommend buying yourself an N95 respirator just to make sure that you are protected. Do ask for proper instructions on how to get it tightly fitted on your face and do use it as instructed for maximum efficiency. As for those who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-19, do wear your face mask at all times during the day and do follow the instructions provided by the CDC and WHO (World Health Organization).