One way of preventing the spread of pathogens and germs is wearing disposable face masks (know more). These masks also protect the wearer from the inhalation of airborne particles. From this, we can deduce that face masks protect both the wearer and the other individuals around.
There is a challenge when you do not wear or use the masks properly. Instead of providing protection, this equipment could become the weapon of destruction and disease. This is why you should know the best practices and abide by them strictly. If you have any demand for disposable face masks, welcome to Trendebut.
Who needs to wear a face mask?
This question is one that has been asked for as long as disposable face masks have existed. There has always been confusion even though the CDC has made clear statements times without number. One such occasion was in 2016 when it advised dental professionals to wear protection over their noses, mouths, and eyes. This was necessary when they had to carry out procedures that may lead to sprays or splashes of blood and body fluids.
These masks are also used by workers in the industrial sector, especially in factories where there is a lot of pollution. The reason for this is to protect the nose and mouth from vapors, particles, and sprays. Despite all the prescriptions by the different overseeing bodies, many people still wear and use the masks wrongly.
For example, we still hear of people reusing masks after taking them off or attempting to share masks. These items are never to be shared and are to be used just once. When you notice there is trouble breathing or the mask is soiled, discard it safely and wear a new one.
Best practices for using disposable masks
We have put together a list of best practices to help you protect yourself efficiently with disposable masks.
Understand the classification and ratings of masks
This is the first step to using masks properly. N95 respirators are the highest rated on the list of face masks today. They have undergone testing by the NIOSH, a subsidiary of the CDC. These masks protect up to 95% of particulates in the air. This is why they are to be used by health care personnel treating patients with respiratory conditions.
So a dentist, for example, doesn’t need an N95 respirator, except in dire cases. The same goes for a layman walking around in a sandstorm. Masks usually receive their ratings from specific bodies that work in conjunction with the CDC. Ratings are specified after testing for fluid resistance, filtration efficiency, flame spread, differential pressure, etc.
When you look at the packaging, you can tell the rating of the mask. This will help you know whether you should use it or not.
Always wear the mask right-side-out and right-side-up
Disposable masks are not meant to be worn anyhow. There are always instructions that guide wearing. Most times we are in a rush to wear the mask that we neglect the instructions. When you wear a mask wrongly, you have completely defied the purpose of the mask. This means that you leave yourself vulnerable.
The outer layer of the mask is designed to be fluid-resistant and the middle layer is the filter. Protection for your facial skin is provided by the innermost layer of the mask. When you interchange the positions, you put yourself at risk.
In some cases, the masks are color-coded, this makes it easy to know which part should be outside. Many times, there is no color code so you need to read through the manufacturer’s instructions. When wearing the mask, you must ensure that it follows your facial contours. Any gaps can be an entrance for contaminants. Finally, ensure that the pleats of your mask face down, resembling a waterfall.
Put on the mask properly
When wearing their disposable face masks, many people make a huge blunder. Never forget that getting it right is what ensures that you are protected. Take a look at 10 people wearing their masks at the same time. More than half of them will loop the mask around their ears as the first step.
Instead of doing this, it is important that you first make a little divot on your nose with your thumb. The thumb over the mask in this manner ensures that it sits properly on your nose bridge. It is also recommended that as you wear the mask, you should open it up slightly. In doing this, don’t flatten out the folds, it should be very slight. The reason for this is to ensure that the mask fits more efficiently.
In looping the mask over your ears, make sure that you mold the nose piece with your index and middle fingers. This should be done between the eyes and over the nose bridge and it helps to protect against contamination. Now you can extend the mask over your chin and mouth fully. The essence of this is 360-degree protection.
If you wear glasses, it is important to note that you must take off your glasses before wearing the mask. After you have worn the mask, you can put the glasses back on.
Never twist the masks’ ear loops
This is another common mistake people make, especially when they have small facial structures. There is the temptation to feel like the masks aren’t going to be tight enough. As a result, they try to shorten the masks by twisting the ear loops.
When you do this, you bring the mask too close to the nose and mouth. As your breath condenses over the material, the material gets wet through a process known as wicking. This leads to a swelling of the fibers that reduces its ability to protect you through filtration. It is always better to find a mask that fits your face properly.
Take off the mask properly
The same way there is a procedure for wearing the mask, there is one for taking it off. If you remove the mask wrongly, you are at risk of being contaminated. When taking off the mask, first put your fingers beneath the ear loops close to the ear lobes. Pull them straight down.
Now take off the mask by lifting it off your face. Dispose of it immediately without touching the mask itself.
Adhering to the best practices for using disposable face masks is very important. This is the only guaranteed way to ensure safety from contaminants in the air. Use these measures and stay safe.