A face mask, sometimes called a nasal mask, is a thin-felt mask utilized to facilitate breathing through the nose in persons afflicted with breathing difficulties. It functions by allowing increased air circulation through the nose and throat, thereby increasing oxygen levels in the body. This enables the person to breathe normally and thus decreases the occurrence of shortness of breath and other symptoms of poor lung functioning. Face masks may be simple loose fitting covers that cover only the nose, or more complex and exact fitting therapeutic masks made from a variety of fabrics. These specialized face masks may be used to treat many different conditions.
Face masks also provide social distancing. When persons suffering from asthma, allergic rhinitis, or sinusitis cannot breathe easily, they often find it difficult to maintain eye contact with individuals around them. Face masks can help to alleviate the problems associated with these conditions by reducing or eliminating the discomfort caused by breathing through the mouth. Many people suffering from these conditions find it difficult to concentrate or function properly when their ability to breathe is hindered, and face masks serve as an effective method of social distancing.
Face masks can also be used to increase the air flow through the nose by eliminating small particles that can block the nostrils. These small particles include dust, mold, pollen, smog, and smoke. While most surgical masks can effectively remove small particles, some cannot remove larger ones. Because of this, it may be necessary to wear a surgical mask in order to have clear, fresh smelling lungs.
Other individuals who benefit from wearing a face mask to include children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions. In certain situations, wearing a surgical mask may be mandatory for individuals who do not currently qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. Those who are considered low income also benefit from wearing these devices. Some insurance companies will cover the cost of purchasing and using these devices, although others require that individuals purchase them or pay a co-pay fee.
It is important to note that even though the United States Food and Drug Administration have approved the use of several different types of surgical masks in the country, they have specific recommendations for the use of N95 respirators. As the general public, we are not aware of the N95 status of each piece of equipment that falls under this category. However, the N95 respirators are recommended for general public use, as well as medical/scientific settings. It is always best to protect yourself when possible, and while we understand the need for N95 respirators in the medical/scientific setting, it is equally important to protect the general public from the dangers of small particulates.
For this reason, it is extremely important to always wear a N95 mask while spending time outdoors. When you step outside, always remember to wear a face shield or face mask to shield your face from any particulates that might fall. No matter what type of device you are wearing, it is important to wear it correctly. If you do not fully protect yourself from the elements, you could become seriously ill from exposure. It is not worth risking your health over a few dollars.