A face mask, also known as a cpap mask (continuous positive airway pressure), is a small piece of plastic attached to the face with straps. It provides a steady stream of air into the mouth area. The face mask helps to open the airway by decreasing the airway resistance, reducing snoring and helping to prevent lung infections. They provide a temporary relief to sleep apnea sufferers, by opening up the airway during sleep. There are three types of face masks available – nasal pillows, nasal masks and full face airtight masks.
A nasal pillow mask is a thick fabric mask worn on top of the nose, often with straps that go around the back of the head. When adequate nasal pillows are not readily available, and if physical distancing is impossible, then cloth face masks can be worn instead. The wearer slides them over his or her nose and over the lips. A plastic piece holds the nose in place and pushes it forward to open up the airway. Some masks have a button at the bridge of the nose to control the flow of air.
A face mask can be worn during the cold season, which is usually from October to March. During this period, people are most prone to infections, especially flu and colds. A pandemic face mask can protect healthcare workers, who are exposed to a high volume of bacteria, during the pandemic. This type of mask is usually a thin membrane, so that air flows through it easily.
Full-face surgical masks are used for patients with severe breathing problems. If a sufficient number of puffs are worn, then it will reduce the airway forcefulness. But, it is difficult to find the correct dosage. Most full-face surgical masks come with a valve at the base that can be adjusted. With the help of a biometric finger reader, the dose can be automatically adjusted using the computerized valves.
A simple and inexpensive solution is nasal dilators. They fit inside the nostrils and open up nasal passages to improve breathing through the nose. A new face mask called a “dilator” can also be used in this situation. Dilators work by pushing the droplets to the back of the throat.
Another solution is to wear a medical face mask called a “crowning” mask. This material has tiny hooks on the top edge that hook onto the upper lip. When the wearer moves his or her lips, the material pulls the hooks backward to push the droplets down to the back of the throat. However, crowning or toric face masks cannot be worn during the flu or common cold seasons. Therefore, these materials should not be worn when you are not ill.