WEARING A MASK IS PART OF THE SO-CALLED “NEW NORMAL” AROUND THE WORLD. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK, PROPER HYGIENE BECAME THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RULE IN OUR DAILY LIVES. BUT BEFORE THE COVID-19 CRISIS, PROPER HYGIENE SHOULD BE PART OF THE ROUTINE, 24/7.
Wearing a mask also needs proper hygiene to ensure that wearing it has no side effects or adverse effects. Not all of us know how to wear masks properly. For beginners, wearing it is a little uncomfortable, especially for those who wear eyeglasses.
In my case, the first time I wore it, it became a hindrance to my eyeglasses. When I exhale, the air goes into my eyes which makes me touch my eyes. I had no choice but to wear it at this time.
Since we all required to wear masks, it is wise enough to know its effects.
The functional effects of wearing masks are apparent as long as it is appropriately dressed. Before the pandemic, we knew nothing about the specifics of the masks except for medical professionals who studied and understood the need for it and knew what the best mask to wear.
The coronavirus should be taken as seriously as how we have taken our daily hygiene to keep us healthy and safe. In a published data report of the Tenessee Department of Health, Rutherford county has reported a high percentage of COVID19 positive cases. The common implications of the spreading or increased in positive cases may have come from asymptomatic patients who are difficult to identify unless testings will be conducted. On this matter, it will be a benefit for everyone to really follow strict precautions which include requiring to wear masks. There are different options based on the materials to stop the virus from penetrating you. Aside from viruses, bacteria cannot also pass through.
Classification of Masks
According to the CDC researchers, there are two characteristics of masks – treated and untreated. There are types of masks – N95 and Surgical. Below is the table to know the difference between each.
|Mask Type||Treatment||Size (cm)||Materials||Weight (g)||Thickness (mm)|
|N95||Untreated||12.5 x 13.2||polypropylene and polyester||8.99||3.87|
|Treated with nano functional materials||(same size)||The filter material used: polypropylene||9.64||5.17|
|Surgical||Untreated||17.3 x 15.8||Both layers used: polypropylene||3.26||0.80|
|Treated with nano functional materials||(same size)||With the same layers of the untreated surgical mask, but the middle layer is melt-blown.||3.39||0.85|
The treated and untreated masks can be easily distinguished. With the size and weight plus the appearance, untreated masks can be recognized as standard, while professionals are more likely to use prescribed masks. Or those who have high exposure to viruses.
What can happen when wearing a mask has no hygiene protocols?
Reports are circulating about wearing masks and their adverse side effects on our health. In some countries, increases percent of deaths continue to rise and the high percentage of casualties belong to adults. The risk of getting respiratory diseases can be prevented with regular hand wash and taking medicine or vitamins. One of the recommendations of Americans with the WHO mandates against coronavirus is social distancing. Aside from cleaning surfaces, this should be slowed the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, the advice of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the publications of the updated document to release the volumes of clinical respirators providers. The increase in the testing of individuals in communities classified infectious coronavirus patients with milder symptoms. At first, I did not believe this, not until I experienced some of it.
Like I said a while ago, wearing masks became a problem with my eyeglasses.
However, I want to share some helpful tips with you here below on how to address and stay safe while wearing a mask.
Getting Foggy Eyeglasses
A total discomfort indeed when you wear both masks and eyeglasses at the same time. A foggy effect in your glasses can irritate your eyes. So how to avoid getting your eyes hurt? First reactions to irritants are a temptation to scratch or touch your face. If you cannot resist doing this, make sure you wash your hands with soap. 20-second handwashing can be helpful to get rid of viruses and germs in your hands. Imagine the things you hold like door handles, elevator buttons, surfaces, and packages that germs are situated.
Fitting the Right Mask
Wearing mask which has the same fit in you is rare to find. But most coverings have a universal fitting in your mouth that you can adjust. Make sure that you choose cotton material for better ventilation that can trap less of the moisture which can happen when there is build up from breathing and sweating.
For the right fit of mask, follow the rule of “snug, not tight” around the face for prevention of droplets from escaping or coming in. If it hurts your nose and chin, it is time to adjust the fitting that will give you more room for breathing.
Airflow Restriction for People with COPD
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a condition of a person with shortness in breathing. So how does wearing mask improve their health?
People with this condition should find another method to control the transmission and infecting other people unconsciously. This time of crisis, evidence shows that if a person who is COVID-19 carrier or has symptoms should seek professional medical guidance. Including in the protocols of the World Health Organization, if a person is tested positive with coronavirus, self-quarantine should be followed. Perhaps, no need a mask if the symptom is a problem with air-breathing.
Conversations are Compromised
Maybe not only me who observed that wearing a mask makes people have a closer conversation because of the speech volume and, of course, the quality. For some people, they exercised “lip read” for them to understand quickly what the other person is talking about.
But this talent is useless since a mask is a necessity for each person when going outside. You can be closed with the person you are talking with but maintain a 6-feet distance. This will prevent community transmission. Any viral infection can make you sick if the proper distance cannot be observed.
The Mask is Not a Cure
Wearing a mask does not mean that you are invisible to viruses. The mask is not bulletproof that can give you a sense of security. But we are wearing masks to protect us from getting infected. Including in the study are effective ways on how to prevent getting coronavirus such as proper handwashing and physical distancing. At home, workplace, and many places, frequent disinfection of surfaces is needed as different evidence surfaced in publication.
Can Cause Skin Irritations
Before I forget, there is also a washable mask. The common materials of this mask should be cotton, and the thickness should follow the recommendations of medical authorities. Otherwise, irritations and other health problems can occur.
In a study, if the mask is not properly clean, there are germs, bacteria, and viruses in it, which can cause you more harm. Unknowingly touching of masks could have developed underlying conditions and situations carrying other diseases. Remember that wearing a veil should stop the spread of the virus, not the other way around.
How long should a mask wear?
Each type of mask has the duration for the wearer. Experts compared the measures and recommended the details on patients to avoid widespread. For instance, the N95 masks can be worn two times as long as it is adequately decontaminated. This process will maintain its capability on protection and to reduce the spread of ncov. As to this writing, there are still ongoing studies on how to decontaminate the N95 mask properly. But surgical masks are one-time usage only. And you can only wear them for 4 hours.
There are also safety routines in wearing it to prevent all adverse effects. Aside from washing and proper fitting, preparation before wearing it is needed.
Apply moisturizer before wearing a mask. It can prevent skin irritation in areas where the cover rubs the skin of your face. Sad to say, but this time, you have to let go of wearing makeup, even a foundation. The makeup is one of the factors that decrease proper breathing.
Also, maintaining clean facial skin before and after wearing a mask is essential to avoid skin problems.
Sharing My Thoughts
Being a responsible citizen in this time of the pandemic, wearing a mask is a sign of giving support to our health workers, the frontline individuals. Based on the survey, shortages of medical equipment like personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks have been a problem around the world.
So most people with talents make masks out of cloth. Using a cloth mask has approval from medical groups as long as the covering fits comfortably to your face, ear loops, and allows breathing without restriction. Cloth masks are not disposable. The fabric should be in multiple layers, and it can be laundered and machine dried without damage and deformation. Though comfortable, the unfiltered masks do not provide and are short in reducing inhalation of carbon dioxide and sars particles, preventing to be safer during this pandemic. There is no time for an experiment in masking based on the internet. FAQ for COVID-19 can be checked with the WHO website.
Indeed, wearing a mask is part of the new normal as long as there is no vaccine. But keep this in mind that wearing a mask of under the age of two is prohibited as well as to someone who has trouble breathing and unconscious.