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Breathing Problems – Can a Face Mask Makes the Problem Worse?

A face mask is generally a cloth mask utilized over the nose and mouth, typically made of synthetic textiles, most often cotton. While face masks have been used for hundreds of years, the purpose of modern face masks is to soften the look of wrinkles and lines and to hide pores that might be too small or visible. However, when physically impossible and when more powerful natural facial masks are unavailable, a cloth face mask can be an inexpensive, convenient and useful alternative. Here are some simple steps for preparing and using face masks:

Face Mask

Face Masks are often limited to being preparing for healthcare workers and emergency response personnel, both because they are difficult to obtain and because most medical emergencies do not occur in settings where face masks are routinely worn. For emergency medical technicians and nurses, hospital or office managers should consider obtaining an easy to apply, quick-dry face mask that can be worn at the first sign of moisture. Because most office managers have their own medical staff, they will often know which healthcare workers are required to use medical masks and which ones are to be reserved for medical staff only. As an alternative, they should consider requesting that their emergency room or ER are stocked with an easy-to-apply face mask similar to those that would be used by healthcare workers. If that is not possible, healthcare workers and other office managers should consider purchasing extra masks in bulk for use in such situations.

One of the easiest face masks to prepare are those made with printed, cotton materials. While disposable masks made with printed fabrics may be more easily discarded at the end of a medical event, the same cannot be said for respirator or covid-19 pandemic masks. Respirator and covid-19 pandemic masks are typically worn during emergency room visits and must be disposed of following the patient leaves the hospital. Since disposable face masks cannot be reused, it is imperative that those used in an emergency room do not contain any printed material.

Another option for those who need to store their face masks after use is using disposable breathing air masks or n95 respirators. Although these types of breathing equipment are designed to be kept outside the body to avoid exposure to airborne viruses, disposable breathing air masks should be kept in a safe place, whether in a warehouse or in a home. These breathing apparatus are designed to be removed quickly and replaced without incident. In addition to being easily disposable, however, breathing air masks that are made with n95 respirators feature an internal filter made from a special material that will prevent the return of airborne viruses. If the respirator is kept in storage, it is important that it is cleaned and disinfected every few months so that it can continue to protect those exposed to it.

Some healthcare workers may require a disposable surgical mask that features a sealed face shield. However, the materials used to manufacture this type of surgical mask may contain small-particle droplets that are difficult to filter out of the air. For these individuals, it may be necessary to have a disposable oxygen concentrator that contains activated carbon that is designed to eliminate airborne particles, such as those that are made from small particles of grit, glass and even metal. The use of an oxygen concentrator can help remove larger particles, such as those that may be formed in large-particle droplets that form when a surgical mask comes into contact with open wounds, cuts or bruises.

While healthcare workers who wear face masks to protect their lungs from infection and other hazards may never experience a problem breathing because of the device, there are individuals who develop problems with their face masks. One of the most common causes of these problems occurs when cloth face covering becomes completely saturated with sweat or other water-based liquid. While cleaning a face mask without scrubbing first involves removing the contaminated area and wiping the area with a damp cloth, it may not be the best solution for someone who’s aspirations are becoming rapidly impaired because of this exposure. As such, a medical professional should always be consulted before a cloth face covering is used on a patient, even if the individual is experiencing no difficulty breathing.

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