Can you consider face shields the next step to prevent COVID-19? It is the latest discussion that has attracted the attention of scientists and other health experts. With the novel coronavirus wreaking havoc in the lives of lakhs of people, the health organizations across the world are trying new ways to ward off the contagious infection. As no vaccine or permanent cure is available for the infection, health experts are suggesting some lifestyle changes to keep the infection away. Until the scientists working tirelessly to develop a vaccine taste success, you need to maintain social distancing, wear a mask, and follow hand hygiene to prevent the illness. You need to adhere to the steps suggested as a precautionary measure to keep yourself safe.
To keep themselves safe, plenty of people are opting for a face cover or face masks to avoid getting the infection. At the start of the illness, the face masks acted as a go-to protection gear against the battle against novel coronavirus. Now, more and more people are choosing it when they go out in public. The lack of foolproof protection by the face mask has initiated the argument of using face shields to keep people safe from coronavirus infection. Unlike the face masks, the face shields made of plastic sheet (clear) can cover the whole face instead of just the mouth and nose. So, it can prevent transmission of the virus through the eyes. It keeps you protected from contagious infections.
Why Consider Face Shields The Next Step To Prevent COVID-19?
Every person around the world is listening to their government’s advice about using a cloth mask. But, most people can only cloth mask as the other types like surgical or N95 respirator is restricted for healthcare workers who come in close contact with infected people. But, a cloth face mask can only offer limited protection as there are chances of transmission of the virus through the gaps. There is also a possibility of transmission of novel coronavirus through the eyes. That is why many experts consider face shields the next step to prevent COVID-19. The clear, plastic face shield is available for all people as well as healthcare personnel. What are the features that make it an attractive option? Here are some:
Experts believe the use of face shields offer you better protection compared to face masks without causing you any discomfort. People who use face mask feel discomfort when they are in public. It is also not ideal for people who have breathing problems or children below two years.
Face Shields The Next Step To Prevent Covid-19 As It Is Easily Available
When you choose face mask, you only get cloth-based options. It is because the more effective ones like surgical or N95 respirators are only reserved for healthcare workers. Instead of leaving your chances to fate, you can choose face shields to safely reduce the chances of transmission. The option is specifically useful in a community setting. Unlike other types of effective face masks, it is easy to quickly produce the shields cost-effectively.
Due to the widespread transmission of the contagious coronavirus, scientists suggested the use of cloth face masks to reduce the transmission in public places. But, laboratory testing indicates that these masks cannot filter all virus-size aerosol particles. It means you are not protected effectively when you use the face masks. But, when you choose face shields it offers much more effective protection compared to face masks. These plastic shields can stop the virus as it acts as a protective barrier to your eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. The shield extends below the chin and covers the ears. A good shield has no exposed gaps between the forehead and the headpiece. So, it can prevent the transmission and catching of the virus.
Face Shields The Next Step To Prevent COVID-19 As It Is Easy To Reuse
Unlike the disposable version of the masks, you can reuse it for a long time. While cloth masks also offer you a chance to reuse it after washing, for effective performance, you need to throw the cloth mask after some time. Face shields have a big advantage as you can reuse it endlessly. You just need soap and water to clean it. Then, wipe it with disinfectant to kill all the germs on the surface. Unlike face masks, you can wear the shields with ease comfortably for a long time. It also prevents you from touching your face. The plastic barrier keeps people from touching their face unnecessarily.
Easy To Communicate
While using a facemask, you need to pull it down to talk properly. It is not just inconvenient, the action can also put you at risk of virus exposure. But, when you use a face shield, it becomes easier to communicate as you never have to remove it to talk. The use of such accessory also reminds you of social distancing and avoids touching the face. The clear plastic shield also offers visibility of facial expressions along with your lip movement. So, it makes it easier for speech perception.
Comparing Face Mask And Face Shields
The concept of wearing the protective covering over your nose and mouth is to reduce the risk of novel coronavirus transmission, especially for asymptomatic carriers. Such people can transmit the disease to others without showing any specific signs or symptoms. Apart from that, the protective covers act as a barrier in a closed space. So, when people present in the room talk, laugh, cough, or sneeze, they can transmit the disease to others via contaminated droplets. While immediate viral exposure is reduced when you wear such protective cover, its effectiveness depends on the type you choose and how you wear it.
If an asymptomatic person chooses to wear a face mask, then it prevents the transmission of viral particles from that person to others. So, it helps prevent immediate viral exposure. But, you need to wear it properly for maximum effectiveness. Many people fail to get proper results when they wear protective wear. The reasons are:
- A lot of people wear a cloth mask incorrectly.
- When you talk, you tend to pull the mask down (below your nose and mouth).
- You keep touching the outer layer of the mask with your hands and then touch your face.
- The medical experts have not issued clear directives regarding the re-use of homemade or cloth face mask. So, most people wash it and use it again.
- The masks providing a bit more protection like surgical or N95 respirator are facing a big shortage. So, it is reserved for medical professionals.
In short, the lack of proper guidelines to wear and using the mask or shortage of masks can lead to the spread of infection.
Face Shields The Next Step To Prevent COVID-19?
Can you consider face shields the next step to prevent COVID-19? It is the question discussed by many scientists right now. Do you know why? Compared to face masks, the shields cover your whole face. So, it creates a barrier from the head and extends way below your chin. So, it not acts as a preventive barrier from the coronavirus but also prevents you from touching your face. This is not possible when you use a face mask. According to several studies using the face shields can protect you from other infections like influenza. Studies have also indicated the reduced inhalation of contaminated droplets by a person while using a face shield. So, when you stand within 18 inches of the person who coughs, the shield offers 96% protection from the droplets.
Unlike face masks, you can use it for a long time. It is more convenient and comfortable to use. So, people who need to use it for a long time like healthcare workers can wear it for maximum protection. It is not restrictive or uncomfortable like the protective cover. It is ideal for the common public and people who are at high risk of coronavirus exposure.
Face Shields The Next Step To Prevent COVID-19: Instructions To Follow
Like a face mask, face shields also have specific usage guidelines. You need to follow the instructions properly to get effective results. When you use a face mask, the chances of making errors are high. People often make mistakes as they are not perfect. Some people tend to take shortcuts. So, you forget wearing the mask and touch your face. Distraction can also lead to mistakes that prove fatal. When you are in a public setting, you are surrounded by hazards. You never know who you come in contact with. Making a simple mistake of not wearing the mask properly can alter your lives. In such cases, opting for face shields can save lives. The room for error is small. Let’s see in detail how the face shield can offer protection.
Face Shields The Next Step To Prevent COVID-19: Description
A face shield acts as a protective barrier as it has a transparent visor. The visor is attached to a headband. You need to wear the headband as per the instruction provided by the manufacturer. The transparent visor protects the person from the contaminated respiratory droplets. These droplets are responsible for the transmission of contagious disease. Shields are a part of the personal protective equipment (PPE), which is essential for the safety of the people who have high chances of coming in contact with infected people. While the transparent shields are a part of PPE, it does not mean you are immune to novel coronavirus. You have to follow hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently and the other guidelines for effective protection.
According to the doctors and health experts, when you wear the shield, it should extend lower than your chin. The face shield must have no gap between your forehead as well as the headpiece of the shield. It must also extend beyond the ears. Can you consider face shields the next step to prevent COVID-19? It is possible as it offers protection to your eyes, which is not possible even with a surgical mask or N95 respirator. Since coronavirus can transmit through your eyes, you need to protect your eyes. It also prevents the possibility of touching your face. So, it avoids the transmission of coronavirus from your hands to the face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
Cleaning Face Shields
After use, you need to clean the face shields. You can use soap and water to clean the face shields. Then, wipe it with disinfectant for killing all the harmful pathogens. The main advantage of using face shields instead of a mask is that you see and read the expression of the people who wear it. So, it ensures better communication without the need to take the shield off. So, you can communicate without compromising your protection.
Can You Consider Face Shields The Next Step To Prevent COVID-19: The Benefits
Face shields tend to have several benefits compared to face masks. Here are some of them that will make you consider face shields the next step to prevent COVID-19.
Medical masks that are touted as the best for offering effective protection from the coronavirus exposure, have limited durability. You cannot reuse it. But, it is not the case of face shields. The main benefit of using the face shields is that you can reuse it indefinitely.
Easy To Clean
You can clean the product with ease using just soap and water. For better protection, you can use disinfectant to wipe down the plastic shield for better protection.
Causes No Discomfort
Unlike masks, face shields are comfortable to wear. So, you can wear it for a longer time compared to face masks.
Apart from offering comfort while wearing, the face shields also protect the points of viral entry. So, it reduces the potential of the virus to enter your bloodstream. It also restricts you from touching the face. According to a simulation study by the scientists of the influenza virus indicated the effectiveness of the face shields. The results suggest that the shields reduce viral exposure by 96% when you wear it and stand within 18 inches of the infected person. With social distancing protocols, the shield offered protection up to 92% when you maintained six feet distance from the infected person.
Ease Of Communication
Using a medical mask can affect your communication with others. You find it difficult to talk to others. So, you tend to remove the mask or lower it for speaking. With face shields, you can communicate without removing it.
Important Part Of PPE
In many countries, face shields have acquired the place of a significant part of PPE. So, healthcare workers use the product for getting effective protection.
Most people ask if people who come in close contact with infected people need to use both face shields and face masks. Unfortunately, no confirmed answer exists for the question. It is because enough evidence is not available to come to a conclusion. While scientists need to conduct several randomized trials to verify the efficiency of the face shields. It will take several years to determine the results of such studies. Until scientists get more evidence to detect the usefulness of the product to prevent the transmission of disease, you need to follow all the suggested containment strategies like handwashing, using a mask, and maintaining social distancing while going out. It will keep you protected from both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.
Face Shields The Next Step To Prevent COVID-19: Reasons It Is Impossible
Why experts do not consider face shields the next step to prevent COVID-19? Many scientists and health experts are not convinced with the claims that face shields can replace face mask. It is less attractive to the general public due to the accessory’s inherent style. So, let see the reasons why experts believe it cannot replace a face mask in the near future:
When you opt to wear it for a short period, it may not cause any discomfort. But, wearing it for extended periods of time can make it uncomfortable and difficult. The plastic shield can get fogged up after a while. So, your face feels hot after a while. Such discomfort makes it a bad choice for the general public. So, they do not find it a practical option to avoid infectious diseases.
Raise Your Voice
While you never have to remove the mask to communicate with others, you need to project your voice. Since it is difficult to hear your voice properly through the transparent barrier, you need to talk at high volumes to others. So, it can strain your vocal cords.
No Evidence Of Containing Cough/Sneeze
Scientists have not examined the efficiency of using the face shields to control cough or sneeze. It is required to check how the product performs when worn by symptomatic or asymptomatic persons. It is essential to know the performance as the respiratory droplets are the main source of virus transmission.
Lack Of Data
No clear data exits to determine the actual effectiveness of the face shields in preventing the transmission of novel coronavirus infection. The data that proves the effectiveness of face shields is the study conducted on influenza patients. So, more studies and data are necessary to conclude the effectiveness of the product.
Scientists do believe in the potential of face shields. Can you consider face shields the next step to prevent COVID-19? It is possible when the drawbacks are resolved and make the product more accessible to the public.
Effective Steps To Prevent COVID-19
The use of protective cover is gaining popularity. But, using the protective cover alone will not protect you from the infectious disease. You need to follow the guidelines suggested below for effective protection:
You need to maintain a distance of at least six feet from the next person when you go out in public. Keeping the distance will avoid the transmission of the disease from the contaminated respiratory droplets.
Wash Your Hands
You need to wash your hands frequently. Use soap and water to clean your hands. Follow the right technique and rub your hands with soap for at least twenty seconds before washing it off. Rub all the areas of your hands like the back of the hands, between the fingers, nails, and thumb for proper cleaning. If you cannot access soap and water, then use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for killing the harmful pathogens.
Avoid Touching Your Face
While it is a natural habit to touch your face with the hands, you need to control such actions. It is because your hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, and mouth. So, it enters your body and causes complications.
Is Face Shields The Next Step To Prevent COVID-19?
After the comparative study, when you come to the bottom of it, both face masks and face shields have their advantages and disadvantages. When you choose a tight-fitting mask, you get close protection compared to the face shields. It is because the snug-fitting masks can block the viral droplets from a person standing next to you when they cough or sneeze. Also, the shields are bulkier compared to the face mask. More studies are necessary to learn the effectiveness. Face shields are an important part of the PPE (personal protective equipment) that used in the public setting like hospitals can prevent the transmission of coronavirus. The medical professional who comes in close contact with infected people daily needs to wear a face shield for better protection. Combining it with masks can offer effective protection from the contagious virus.
It remains unclear how the face shields perform in different settings. So, more studies are necessary to conclude the shields as the better option. So, is face shields the next step to prevent COVID-19? With more evidence and sophisticated techniques to make the shield, it has the potential to become the next important tool to prevent coronavirus. Until then, using a face mask is the ideal alternative to choose when you go out in public.
Can you consider face shields the next step to prevent COVID-19? Scientists suggest it can become an essential part of protective tools as it offers protection to your eyes, nose, and mouth at the same time. When you use face masks, it offers protection only for your nose and mouth. So, your eyes are exposed to the virus attack. You can only prevent it by wearing a google constructively. But, wearing a face shield will eliminate the need for several accessories as one item can protect your overall face. Therefore, you can get complete protection for a long time without suffering from any discomfort. Following the social distancing and good hand hygiene is essential along with the protective cover to keep the infection away.
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