A surgical face mask, sometimes called a medicated surgical face mask, is designed to be worn during medical procedures by medical staff. Surgical masks are designed to prevent infections to patients and rendering staff from using their nose and mouth to breathe, by trapping airborne bacteria in liquid droplets on the wearer’s face and mouth. The design of the mask is such that airflow through the mask will be reduced significantly. Medications can be prescribed for use during surgery, and surgery is usually quick and the chances of infection are reduced dramatically. It is then very important that the surgical mask used is safe to use.
Many masks have small holes for the air flow to pass through. These holes are usually made using plastic or mesh, so that the air flow can be increased to provide better oxygen for the patient. Medication can be placed inside the nose or mouth holes to provide for easy intake and removal. Some masks have additional functionality, such as that they can be used to humidify the air surrounding the patient. If the mask should leak, a new one should be purchased and a replacement supplied if one is available, as these leaks can easily lead to infection, especially in very warm environments. Masks should always be used under sterile circumstances; the use of tap water can transfer bacteria from one patient to another, making the procedure risky.
The most common design for a face mask is that which covers the entire head, with adjustable straps for better fit. Most of these masks have one or two exhalation valves; these are holes or openings which allow the flow of air through the mask. It is common for a small number of different types of masks to be used at once in a single patient; this is normally done when multiple individuals need to wear the same mask at the same time. Exhalation valves may differ slightly between different manufacturers, but most medical professionals will be familiar with the following:
– Durable vinyl face masks which are suitable for daily use. – Clear face masks which allow for easy identification of patients by visually inspecting the nose and mouth. – Post nasal drip masks which are designed to eliminate excess mucus production and prevent nasal congestion and breathing problems. – Sleep face masks which are designed for patients who have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep.
Patients should avoid the use of face masks when sleeping or when travelling where nose and mouth infections may be prevalent. These can also cause discomfort for the patient, so care should be taken not to wear a mask while being inactive or doing something that could cause irritation or damage to the nose, throat and/or mouth. If a patient must wear a mask whilst travelling then they should wear it comfortably and not too tightly as this could also cause irritation. They should ask their doctor or dentist before purchasing a mask and ensure it is suitable for their lifestyle and needs.
The different types of face masks available include; disposable foam, flexible silicone, silicon gel, air, non-mixed, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and silicone gel. Disposable foam masks can be worn to various social occasions; although it is more suited to formal occasions. Flexible silicone masks are perfect if one wishes to participate in physically demanding activities, whilst anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory masks are best worn at home. Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial face masks are perfect for use when participating in sports or other activities that require strenuous hand and body movements. All types of face masks can be found online with most retailers offering free delivery and a guarantee.