A face mask, also called a nasal mask, is a covering over your nose and mouth, designed primarily to limit the amount of breathing through the nose and throat during sleep. It can be worn with or without a mask respirator. Often, these covers are made using a mixture of materials, such as plastic, vinyl, cotton or paper-based products. These can range from very light (and cheap) to heavy (and quite expensive).
A face mask is used most often in emergency settings, as well as many other situations where it might be required to stay clean and avoid infection. A cloth face mask is a simple mask, typically made out of common fabrics, like cotton or plastic, worn above the nose and mouth during sleep. If physical distancing isn’t possible, and if other face masks aren’t available, then a surgical face mask may be necessary. For example, if you suffer from a cold or sore throat, you might require a surgical face mask to prevent infection spreading into your throat.
Some surgical face masks are also used during special events or functions, as well as for reasons other than just staying clean. During sporting events, some staff members wear face masks to keep their mouths protected from the sports equipment. Some may also wear these masks during conferences and meetings to keep their minds from being distracted by the numerous electrical outlets present in conference rooms.
One type of face mask that is increasingly being used is the nasal mask or decongestant mask. Nasal masks help prevent the spread of two potentially serious illnesses – flu and coughs. Because both types of illness are caused by the virus Streptococcus pneumoniae, the protection offered by a decongestant face mask can slow or stop the spread of this virus. The problem with most decongestants is that they only provide partial protection. For people whose immune systems are compromised, such as HIV/AIDS patients, it is important to use a bronchodilator to fight off the effects of the medication.
Another important use of a face mask is in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. This highly contagious virus causes the common condition Coronavirus gastroenteritis, which causes stomach pain and nausea. The Coronavirus spreads through bodily secretions, such as tears, saliva, blood, and others, which can be very difficult to track. For this reason, the virus spreads quickly and effectively through physical distancing – that is, through contact with an infected person, object, or other individual.
A solution to this problem came about with the development of a disposable face mask called a particulate air purifier. These devices are able to trap particles smaller than one micron in their composition. As a result, the bacteria cannot latch on to these particles and begin to replicate. By using a face mask in this manner, the Coronavirus cannot spread from one patient to another. Therefore, this solution is also effective at preventing the spread of other, more serious respiratory diseases.