A plastic or surgical face mask, sometimes called a facial shield, is a specialized personal protective gear worn by medical professionals during certain medical procedures. It prevents the face from the stinging effects of pain-causing compounds as well as infection by harmful organisms. The face shield is usually made of neoprene and is molded to fit the patient’s face snugly. A sterile face shield can be applied in minutes and took off after ten minutes. Usually made of plastic, these masks are available in various models such as nasal, forehead, cheek, and jowl.
A surgical mask is designed to prevent dust particles from entering the nose and throat. It is also used during surgeries that involve the mouth, such as those that include maxillofacial surgery, wisdom tooth surgery, dental implants, and sinus surgery. Most surgical masks have an airtight seal to prevent the entry of foreign material such as dust, debris, and bacteria. Although it does not completely protect the nose and throat from inhaled particles, it does ensure that breathing becomes less hindered during the procedure. Surgical masks that are too tight will prevent the patient from breathing normally.
A face mask is more than just a shield for protecting the head. Like a full-face helmet that covers the entire head, a mask also covers the mouth and nose, ensuring that contaminants cannot enter the nose and throat and enter the bloodstream. To maintain the necessary functionality of a mask while reducing the occurrence of adverse reactions, it is important to clean the mask between procedures using an approved ear spray, or hand sanitizer, designed to remove bacteria and germs. Proper cleaning is very important to reduce the risk of infections.
Some healthcare workers, such as nurses, are required to wear face masks while working with patients with infectious diseases such as flu and hepatitis. In such cases, it is mandatory that they also wear a full-body face mask. In fact, most countries require healthcare workers to wear suitable masks that cover the nose and mouth when dealing with patients who are suspected of having a communicable disease. Masks are usually supplied by the manufacturer, although stores selling them can also order them based on the appropriate specifications needed for the job.
Loose-fitting face masks are popular for their portability. While they may look like they offer more air flow, they actually do not. Because they are designed to be very loose-fitting, healthcare workers may underestimate the amount of air that escapes through tiny gaps in the fabric. Air that escapes can eventually make its way into the open air where it can create a potential for serious respiratory infections. While some manufacturers have provided solutions to issues associated with loose-fitting masks, more research is needed to find ways of addressing the problem before it becomes a major health hazard.
In workplaces, disposable face masks have been used to protect employees from particles such as lead and asbestos. They have also been used to protect individuals who are allergic to certain substances from inhaling them. While they are commonly used in healthcare settings, disposable face masks can be worn by people in other settings as well.