Today, you need to learn how to use a face mask correctly. With the coronavirus pandemic creating havoc in the lives of people, the WHO has issued several guidelines to ensure you are not exposed to the virus. One of the important suggestions to reduce the risk of contracting the infection is to use face cover. But, you need to follow the instructions to ensure you use it properly for the best results. Since many countries have now advised their citizens to use a protective cover for their face to strengthen their fight against coronavirus, you need to learn the right way to use it for better results.
With the development of vaccination taking the time and no known cure for the infection, it is one of the effective methods to keep the infection at bay. Along with good hygiene practices and social distancing, you can reduce the risk of the infection. With the number of infections and death rates increasing, you need to take the advice seriously. So, start using a protective face cover as it is your new normal. You have to understand that living with SARS-CoV-2 is the new normal. Until scientists discover a vaccine, using a face cover is the best method to avoid the disease.
Know About Proper Method To Use A Face Mask
Face masks offer you protection against the infection and prevent it from spreading. It is an effective tool you need to use in the fight against COVID-19. They are referred to as isolation, dental, laser, procedure, medical, or surgical masks. These names are given based on the purpose of the face cover. These are loose-fitting products that cover your nose and mouth. You can fix them on your face using ties, loops, or bands at the back of the neck. You can choose from different colors. But, you need it to use a face mask correctly to ensure you get the promised protection.
Why Is It Important To Use A Face Mask?
Facemasks are an important accessory you can use to fight against coronavirus. When you use it, it helps prevent the spread of germs from an infected person to others. So, when an infected person uses it, the protective cover avoids the release of tiny drops released during talking, coughing, or sneezing. It helps prevent the spread of the infection through the virus-infected droplets. People who suspect or have confirmed diagnosis of the illness need to wear it to protect others from getting sick. A healthy person wearing the protective cover can get protection from the splashes or sprays of body fluids. Here are the strong reasons you need to use a face mask correctly:
Prevent Virus Spread
Recent studies indicate that a significant portion of people contracting SARS-CoV-2 may not show any signs. Such people are referred to as asymptomatic. Along with asymptomatic people, individuals who ultimately develop symptoms (known as pre-symptomatic) can transmit the virus to others before they show visible symptoms. So, before people realize they suffer from the disease, close interaction with others can result in spreading the disease. Using a protecting cover while coming in contact with others can limit the spread when they speak, cough, or sneeze. So, it offers protection from people who never exhibit the symptoms.
Offer Protection In Public Setting
Wearing the protective cover on your face in a public setting where the social distancing measures are difficult to follow will help you prevent getting the infection. So, when you go out to buy groceries or pharmacies, you can avoid contracting or spreading SARS-CoV-2. Following the instruction in areas suffering from the high risk of community-based transmission will help you reduce the chances of COVID-19 disease spread. With the number of asymptomatic cases on the high, using the protective cover can stop the disease transmission. Since most people realize they have the disease after the incubation period, using the masks can reduce spreading it to others who you come in contact with.
Positive Results After Using Facemasks
Several studies have offered insight on the positive results of using a protective cover. When you use it in a public place, it stops the transmission of the virus. Several countries like Japan, South Korea, China, and other countries have recorded a steep low in the number of infected people after using the facemasks in public places. So, using the protective cover has resulted in better control of the disease.
Use A Face Mask To Protect Others
Most people have the feeling that the virus may not affect them. Such misconception will put yours and the health of your loved ones at risk. Instead of feeling over-confident, wear a facemask to avoid the spread of infection. The small action can make you feel responsible. You will avoid the spread of the disease unknowingly to others and keep others safe. So, what are the reasons for using it? Here are some:
Physical Barrier Offering Protection
You need to wear protective cover when you go out in public or when you care for people who have the infection. It acts as a physical barrier to protect you and the people you come in contact with viral as well as bacterial particulates. It also prevents infection caused unknowingly when you go out and start coughing or touching.
Courtesy To Yourself And Others
You need to use a protective cover as a courtesy to yourself and people near you. Irrespective of the type of space you spend your time, you need to use a facemask. So, it is important to choose one for spaced-out areas or close quarters.
Restrict Infection Spread
Normal people need to opt for cloth masks instead of surgical covers or N 95 respirators. While the cloth made mask may not prevent the inhaling of microscopic particles, it offers a bit of respiratory protection. The virus particles can go right through the bandanas or cloth facemasks, but it reduces the depositing of droplets of viral particles on other people or nearby surfaces. When you use a face mask correctly, it is equivalent to sneezing or coughing on the crook of the elbow. So, it restricts the spread of the virus.
With less viral particles accumulating, the chances of spread of disease decreases. So, when you use a facemask that covers your nose and mouth, it cuts down 95% of your breathing. So, it reduces the sending of the virus up to six feet in a room or public place. It also reduces the oral transmission that restricts the SARS-CoV-2 from getting into your mouth or nose. The transfer of the virus from the contaminated surface to your face is reduced due to the presence of the face cover. So, it slows down the virus a lot.
Different Types Of Face Masks
You have three different types of masks. For normal use, you can opt for cloth facemasks. But, remember, it does not offer fool-proof protection. It is not airtight and only reduces the transmission of the virus from one person to another. So, for better protection, you need to follow other strategies like hand washing and social distancing. The cloth masks intend to protect the environment from the wearer. So, it is effective when an asymptomatic person wears it in the public. It prevents the spread of the virus from people with no signs to others in a public setting. Opting for a protective cover while going out will help the public. So, become a responsible person and join in fighting against the contagious virus by choosing to wear a homemade or cloth masks.
Face Masks For Healthcare Professionals
Apart from choosing the cloth made mask, you need to reserve the other types of masks, surgical and N95 respirators for healthcare professionals. It is because they come in close contact with people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2. Surgical masks are primarily intended to prevent medical professionals from spreading germs to other patients. But, surgical masks are not ideal for healthcare workers who work very closely with infected patients. For such medical professionals, N95 respirators are the ideal choice. It forms a tight seal over your nose as well as mouth. So, it filters all the air coming in or going out. N95 masks protect the wearer from the environment, reducing the chance of healthcare workers getting the infection. The micro-particle filtering properties of the N95 masks ensure good protection for the wearer.
Risks When You Use A Face Mask
How can using a facemask pose risk to your health? When you use a face mask, you reduce the possibility of spreading or contracting the infection. But, it can also pose some risks. Here are the risks associated with it:
False Sense Of Security
Wearing protective cover over your face plays a significant role in strengthening community solidarity as well as the collective effort in fighting against coronavirus infection. But, wearing a facemask alone may not offer complete protection. It only offers you a false sense of security. So, people tend to avoid other prevention protocols like handwashing and social distancing. It will only result in more harm than good. So, you need to follow the handwashing regime and social distancing while going out. So, try to avoid going to a grocery store wearing a mask and touch every surface.
Right Handling When You Use A Face Mask Correctly
You need to avoid handling masks without washing your hands. It is also important to maintain caution while taking the mask off. So, use the bands or ties to remove the cover instead of the front portion of the facemask. Wash the cloth mask immediately after use. You need to use detergent containing bleach or bleach-like ingredient to remove the presence of harmful pathogens and dry it. You reuse the cloth facemask after washing it. While it is ideal to dispose of the surgical/disposable mask after use.
Opt For The Right Mask
You need to choose the right mask to ensure complete protection. Avoid surgical or N95 respirator as you have to reserve it for healthcare professionals who come in close contact with infected people. Use a cloth mask while going. Use it properly to ensure complete protection.
Steps To Use A Face Mask Properly
Choosing the right mask is the top priority. Apart from choosing the mask, you need to know how to use a face mask correctly. Here is the guideline you need to follow while using a protective cover:
- Choose a mask made of cloth when you are going out in public places. You can use the mask again after washing it properly and drying it.
- Dispose of the surgical masks after using it once. You need to throw the disposable mask in the covered dustbin. It is also important to remove and replace the mask when the cover becomes moist.
- You need to follow instructions suggested on the product, especially the N95 respirators. It details the use and storage of the mask.
- N95 respirators also come with instructions on putting it on and removing it. It is necessary to follow the instructions can it is an important piece of PPE equipment. Healthcare professionals who are in close contact with coronavirus or other infectious diseases use the mask. So, they need to use it for better protection.
- All types of masks may not come with instructions on it. So, you can follow the instructions to use a cloth or surgical face mask.
- Always follow product instructions on the use and storage of the mask, and procedures for how to put on and remove a mask. If instructions for putting on and removing the mask are not available, then follow the steps below.
Guidelines On How To Use A Face Mask Correctly
Following the right steps is necessary to ensure you use a face mask correctly. Here are the guidelines you have to follow:
- Always clean your hands with soap and water before trying on a mask. It is important to keep your hands free from germs or other harmful pathogens. If you have no water or soap available, then opt for a hand sanitizer.
- Remove the mask from the box or cover. Check the mask thoroughly to ensure it has no damage like holes or tears. Check both sides of the mask for any defects.
- In the case of certain masks, you need to determine the top side of the mask. The top side has a stiff yet bendable edge that molds to your nose’s shape. Using the mask properly is necessary to cover your nose and avoid the harmful pathogens from entering your nose or mouth.
- It is important to determine the front side of the mask. The colored side of the mask is the front. This is applicable for cloth and surgical masks. You need to keep the colored side away from your face. So, the less colored side must touch your face.
Using Mask Based On Type
For different types of masks, you need to follow the instructions suggested below:
Face Mask with Earloops
You need to hold the mask by its ear loops and place one loop around each ear. Ensure your nose and mouth are covered well.
Face Mask With Ties
You need to bring the mask to your nose levels. Then, place the ties of the mask behind your head and secure with a bow. Pull the bottom of the mask to ensure it covers your nose, mouth, and chin.
Face Mask With Bands
While trying to use a face mask with a band, you need to hold in your hands. Keep the top/the nose piece at your fingertips. It will allow the headbands to hang below your hands. Now, bring the mask to the nose level and pull the straps over your head. Let it rest behind your head. The bottom strap is puller over the head in such a manner that it rests at the nape of the neck. At last, you need to pinch or mold the stiff edge to allow it to mold to your nose shape.
Steps To Remove A Face Mask
As much it is essential to learn how to use a face mask correctly, you must also learn the right technique to remove it. Without following the proper technique, you face the risk of getting the infection. So, irrespective of using face masks, without the right usage technique, it is of no use. Here are the proper techniques to remove a mask:
Sanitize Your Hands
You need to clean your hands with soap and water before touching the mask. If you have no soap and water available, then you can use a hand sanitizer with more than 60% alcohol.
Never Touch The Front
Avoid touching the front of your mask as it contains the harmful pathogens. So, avoid the contaminated region. Only touch the band/ties/ear loops. Depending on the type of mask you have opted for, you need to follow the instruction to remove it.
Instruction To Remove Based On Type Of Face Mask
Based on the type of face mask you use, you need to remove it as suggested below:
Face Mask With Ear Loops
Surgical masks or cloth masks with ear loops are removed by holding both of the ear loops and lifting them gently. Now, remove the mask.
Face Mask With Ties
It is common for cloth masks or surgical masks. You can remove them by untying the bottom bow first and then untie the top bow. Afterward, pull the mask away from your face as the ties loosen.
Face Mask With Bands
Lift the bottom strap over your head first then pull the top strap over your head.
Dispose Of The Face Mask
After removing the mask, throw it in a covered trash can. You have to clean your hands again after removing the face mask. So, use soap and water or a hand sanitizer to keep your hands free from germs.
Other Steps To Limit The Coronavirus Infection
Apart from learning how to use a face mask correctly, you must also take some effective steps to prevent the illness. It is specifically true for people suffering from respiratory illness. So, it is essential to take steps to minimize the risk of infection are:
The WHO suggests social distancing as an effective method to reduce the risk of contracting the infection. So, try to avoid coming in close contact with people in the public. Always maintain at least six feet distance from other people. It is the safe distance that will reduce the spread of infection from others. It is also necessary to avoid public places if you have a weak immune system (elderly people, children below ten years, and people with underlying health conditions).
Practice Good Hygiene
You have to practice good hand hygiene as the risk of contracting the virus from a contaminated surface is high. So, wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least twenty seconds. Scrub the area between the fingers and nails. It is important to carry a hand sanitizer. You can protect your hands from harmful pathogens even when you have no water and soap available by using the hand sanitizer. When opting for a hand sanitizer, select one with more than 60% alcohol content. Avoid touching your face, nose, or eyes without washing your hands.
If you suffer from any other illness or coronavirus infection, then you need to avoid going out. As a responsible person, stay at home until you recover fully. If you have severe symptoms, then get immediate medical help.
Opting for face masks while going out will protect you from the airborne particle causing infections. But, it is essential to choose the right mask and learn how to use a face mask correctly. Without the right way of using the mask, you may not get the necessary results. Use a cloth made the protective cover and leave the surgical masks and N95 respirator for healthcare professionals. For better protection, you need to put on and take off the face masks correctly. It will not just protect your health but also the health of people around you as it avoids transmitting or contracting pathogens. While face masks can reduce the spread of disease caused due to disease-causing organisms, it may not offer fool-proof protection. Always follow other steps along with using the mask to get better protection from infections.
[expand title=”View Article Sources“]