Benefits of Wearing a Face Mask
A surgical face mask, also referred to as an emergency facial mask, is designed to be worn during medical procedures by medical personnel. Surgical masks designed for use during surgery are designed to prevent nasal infections in patients and thus saving lives by treating staff and preventing fluid loss from the nose and mouth of the wearer. Surgical masks have been used in the treatment of the common cold and have since then been adapted as masks for the treatment of breathing disorders. If an infection were to spread from the nose and mouth through the respiratory system it would prevent victims from breathing and increasing their chances of death.
Surgical face masks work by preventing the air from entering or leaving the patient’s nose and mouth. As a result it prevents irritants, vapors and other particles from entering and accumulating in the patient’s airway. The material that most commonly finds in these masks includes neoprene foam, neoprene lining and plastic elastomer shells.
They help reduce or limit the spread of viruses such as the common cold. As a result of their design and the way they function, a face mask will prevent a wide variety of cold viruses from entering the patient’s airway. Most commonly they are worn to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C viruses. Face masks will also help reduce the spread of hepatitis B and Hepatitis A virus. As well as reducing the spread of these diseases they will also prevent serious viral infections such as those associated with herpes, shingles and flu.
A study carried out in the UK revealed that when pregnant women were wearing surgical face masks their babies were less likely to suffer respiratory problems than those who were not wearing one. The study went on to say that babies who wore the masks were eight times less likely to suffer acute respiratory infection or bronchitis when compared to those who were not wearing them. Another study carried out by Penn State College of Medicine showed that when babies were wearing the same type of surgical face shield or a latex one; their risk of developing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome was reduced by two thirds. These studies are important as they provide proof that wearing the right type of protective gear can save lives.
The benefits of face masks go further than simply saving the lives of those who become infected. They also have the added benefit of reducing the impact of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) on infants. An eight-year study carried out in the US by the National Institute of Child Health and Development Research revealed that children under the age of one who was regularly wearing masks were five times less likely to die from SIDS than those who were not wearing masks. This evidence has led to the increased use of masks in public places such as hospitals, care homes and schools. One third of all SIDS deaths are in children who are regularly wearing masks.
When we think about the benefits of wearing a nasal or mouth guard, we should remember that these devices also protect others. If your nose is exposed to the irritants and pollution your face can often feel itchy or irritated; using a nasal or mouth guard can help soothe the skin around your nose and mouth, reducing discomfort and disease causing infections. Using a surgical face mask in conjunction with other products and techniques can also help to protect others. You may be surprised at just how many people you come into contact with on a daily basis who are at risk from diseases that could easily be prevented.