Face Masking – N95 Respirators
A face mask, sometimes called a nasal mask, is a small cloth mask placed over the nose and mouth, either completely covering the nose and mouth, or covering only a portion. Nasal cloth or face mask is used during cold weather when facial distancing is impossible and when other more effective nasal masks aren’t available. The purpose of a face mask is to prevent inhaling vapors from the outside world. It is designed to fit comfortably over the nose so as to provide protection against any trapped dust or air. The purpose of a face mask isn’t to improve one’s health or the quality of his breathing air but to protect the health of those who wear them.
Face masks have a long history in the healthcare field, having been worn by ancient Egyptian mummies as part of their embalming processes. Face masks were also worn by Greek and Roman soldiers, as well as during the American Civil War. Face masks are commonly used during medical procedures, often as part of the procedure itself. However, there are other situations in which they may not be needed:
The use of face masks in preventing the entry of small particles into the patient’s lungs is called airtight face masks. Airtight surgical masks, used in surgery, are used to prevent the entry of foreign objects into the surgical area, such as bone fragments, amorphous metals and other solid matter that can cause serious surgical complications. Airtight surgical masks are designed so that they will hold the materials in place and keep them from becoming dislodged. This is especially important for the design of the throat and mouth pieces, which must be kept tightly in place to prevent them from being damaged by jagged bits of foreign matter that enter the oral cavity during the procedure.
While some professionals may recommend the removal of these protective covers before a certain level of exposure to germs, it is unknown whether wearing them actually helps prevent infection. It is also not clear how helpful a face mask would be if it prevented the entry of tiny particles, like bacteria, but did not prevent larger ones from entering the ear loops or nasal cavities. Some researchers theorize that these small particles help to drive the germs that enter the ear loops into the sinuses, where they are attacked by anaerobic bacteria that cannot survive in oxygen.
Face masks also provide another benefit for those who wear them. These devices reduce the spread of nasal and post nasal drip through the use of airtight sealant over the nose and mouth. The decrease in the spread of nasal and post nasal drip decreases the amount of fluid that can build up in the ears. While this benefit has not been studied in depth, some studies indicate that when an individual is wearing a surgical mask that is specifically designed to minimize the spread of fluid, they experience a reduction in the number of cold sores they get during the winter months. Reducing the risk of cold sores and other respiratory illnesses has been shown to be a major benefit of these devices.
A final consideration to those looking to purchase a n95 respirator is whether or not they are purchasing online. While there are several well known retail establishments that sell these types of respiratory protection, it is more commonly available to be bought online. As with any type of medical device, it is always important for the individual to check with their physician to ensure that these devices will meet their needs before making the purchase.