How to Select the Right Face Mask for You

How to Select the Right Face Mask for You

Over a year ago, chances are good you never really had to ask yourself what kind of facemask is best for you. In fact, chances are good that you only even really ever wore face masks if you were in the medical, dental or industrial industry. The main reason is because masks protect people from spreading or inhaling particulates through their breath.

Obviously, in 2020, we all know quite a lot about the different kinds of masks that are available on the market. The obvious reason why is because of the deadly and highly contagious COVID-19 pandemic. We are nearing the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic bringing aspects of modern-day life to a near halt, and while brighter days are ahead in the sense of a coming vaccine, there is still quite some time before the world will be able to rejoice together in victory over the pandemic.

Until then, it remains to be highly important that you and your loved ones know about what kinds of masks are available to you, and which are best for you given the situation, your risk and more.

So, without further delay, let’s break down how you can select the right face mask for you. Learn more.

How do masks inhibit the spread of COVID-19?

Before we break down the mask choices available to you, let’s spend a little bit of time talking about how crucial masks are when it comes to stopping the spread of the virus.

The sad truth is that some people who have the novel coronavirus may have very few symptoms or no symptoms at all. That fact paired with the fact that it is quite deadly for people with previous health conditions, are immunocompromised or are older than 65, has led to regional, state and even country-wide lockdowns for some places around the world.

While wearing a mask does protect the wearer from inhaling respiratory droplets that carry the virus with them, they are more effective at keeping people who are infected from infecting others. The simple truth is that when two people are wearing masks – with one being infected with COVID-19 and the other not being infected – the rate of transmission plummets compared to if just one or neither of the individuals are wearing masks.

How to select the right mask for you

When it comes to choosing the right type of mask that you want to wear, two of the most important factors that you will want to consider is how protective they can be for you and others, and how likely you are to be around people who are infected. For that reason, the right kind of mask for going to the grocery store may not be the same right kind of mask if you are headed for a neighborhood walk.

With that being said, let’s break down the different main types of masks to help you choose which is right for you! Let’s get started.

Bandana or balaclava

A bandana or balaclava are probably the least protective types of masks that you can wear. Tying one around your mouth or pulling one over your head is a good way to keep dust and other larger particulates out of your respiratory system.

While bandanas do provide a certain amount of protection, it is far from comprehensive. Consider the fact that a sneeze or cough will spread particulates further than eight feet if you are not wearing a mask of any kind. With a bandana that potential spread will be cut in half to about 4 feet.

What this means is that bandanas and balaclavas are far less protective than other options on this list. What it also means is that it could be a perfect mask for you if you are planning on going for a walk or run outside. The reason why is because it is comfortable and heavily breathable for you while also leaving a large amount of protection for those around you when you are outside.

Surgical masks

These flat and thin masks are now something that are highly recognizable for everyone in the world. The primary reason is because these have become one of the most popular masks for civilians to wear during the novel coronavirus pandemic because they are cheap, relatively easy to find and fairly protective.

In fact, a 2013 study showed that surgical masks completely filter out 60 percent of smaller, inhaled particles. They are primarily meant to stop droplets, sprays and splatters. Using surgical masks while out shopping or in a potentially crowder area can protect the wearer and can dramatically reduce the spread of respiratory infections such as COVID-19, the flu and the common cold.

The really important thing to remember when it comes to surgical masks is that they are all meant to be disposable. That means that using a new one every single time is the only way to make sure that you are getting the most out of their protective ability.

Reusable cloth masks

One of the most common types of masks that people have used during the pandemic have been stylish and cheerful reusable cloth masks. But how protective are they really?

The truth is that while single-layer masks only provide about 1 percent particle filtration, they are quite effective when it comes to reducing spread. Cotton face masks decrease droplet spray from eight feet with no mask to just over two feet with a mask. This dramatically reduces the risk of someone infected infecting others around them.

Remember, if you are looking to wear reusable cloth masks, the more layers and more densely woven they are made will render the highest level of protection.

Filtered masks

The final type of mask we will go over is known as a filtered mask or respirator. The most popular type is the N95 mask, which is now typically reserved for people in the medical field. These are called N95 masks because they filter our 95 percent of particles from the air breathed in, meaning they not only protect those around the wearer, but the wearer as well.

This is why N95 masks are in such high demand. While it can be hard to find them, there are absolutely places online to purchase N95 masks so you can keep yourself – and those around you – as safe as possible during this uncertain time.

Read more similar topic: prescription snorkel mask

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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