Face Mask – What Are the Features to Look For?
A face mask, sometimes called a nasal mask, is an artificial mask designed of common synthetic textiles, typically polyester, usually cotton. They are intended to be worn over the nose and mouth. They are used in allergy tests to measure reaction to allergens. When physical distancing isn’t possible, and even when more efficient plastic masks are available, cloth face masks remain popular.
Face masks worn by staff members to help them prevent the occurrence of workplace asthma attacks or other respiratory conditions such as rhinitis (affecting the nose) and sinusitis (affecting the eyes). The amount of exhalation can be reduced through use of a face mask. The masks reduce the amount of mucus produced during times of stress or heavy breathing from environmental irritants. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, workplace stress and exposure to allergens may increase the incidence of allergic rhinitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the nose and nasal linings. Staff members with these types of infections can reduce the risks of developing them or even suffering from severe rhinitis by wearing masks.
In some cases, people may develop infections from the materials used in their work. Because the face is so exposed, it is often a source of infection. A common condition caused by bacteria in the workplace is nose and cheek acne. Through use of cloth masks, the potential for this type of infection is reduced. Another cause of nose and cheek acne is from sweat dripping down the forehead and onto the face. By wearing a face mask when this happens, workers can avoid trapping perspiration around their nose and mouth, potentially allowing bacteria to multiply.
Other advantages of face masks include protection from irritants on the job. As a general rule, when a worker is working near something that emits chemicals, such as an electrical outlet or water faucet, they should wear a face mask. Masks should be worn at all times when cleaning or dealing with chemicals. Some employers will only allow facial wear during specific tasks, like disinfecting, so it is critical to always check with your employer before wearing a face mask on the job.
Though most face masks are disposable, some manufacturers make customized air purifying face masks. Purified air can help protect against some diseases, such as allergies and sinusitis. A more extensive list of disease conditions that face masks can help treat includes tuberculosis, bronchitis, colds and the flu.
The best way to determine what kind of face mask will be best for you is to ask your doctor, if you are not sure. The doctor can also advise you on the right kind of mask depending on your job and your particular infection. Most doctors will recommend a face mask that is made of cotton. Cotton is very breathable and therefore will keep your nasal passages clear. However, there are also face masks made from latex and other synthetic materials which may be more beneficial depending on the severity of your infection.