The pandemic has taught us lessons of hand hygiene and the importance of wearing face masks to keep ourselves and our loved one safe and sound. Wearing a mask is effective only when you have chosen the right mask for the best protection. The popular options for masks are the cloth masks, surgical masks and N95 respirator masks.
All masks are of different efficacy. For complete protection one needs to choose the best suited variant to fulfil your needs.
Cloth masks help in containing droplets emissions when a person speaks, coughs or sneezes. They are used only for source control. It does not filter pollutants and germs from the outside. There are filters to get rid of the microbes when you breathe in.
This is a shortcoming of the cloth masks. Studies about cloth masks were conducted and the penetration through cloth is very high. It was revealed that 40-90% of particles are able to penetrate cloth masks.
Moreover a large prospective RCT study by MacIntyre reveals cloth masks may increase infection. The quality of cloth masks like moisture retention, reusing, and poor filtration process may result in increased risk of infection.
The virus can potentially survive on the surface of the cloth masks. Consequently, self-contamination happens through repeated use and improper fitting. There is also chance to transfer pathogen from the mask to the bare hands of the wearer
Cloth mask is definitely not a wise choice for people who are going to expose in crowded areas or walking into an hospital
Surgical masks come in layers to prevent spread. The major shortcoming of a surgical mask is that it is not tight fitting. It has gaps in the cheeks which is not advisable. It is not capable to protect when exposed to a pandemic situation where respiratory droplets are the carriers of the disease.
The surgical masks were predominantly used while operation. Doctors wore it to prevent respiratory emissions of the doctor entering the patients. It is also to protect oneself from the body fluids and exposure from the patient.
The risk of someone to still cough on you, and infect you is high. They could have touched contaminated surfaces and infected you. This might raise the question as to why people often ask why doctors wear surgical masks. The answer to it is simply that the masks are designed to prevent you from infecting someone else with your germs. It is not designed to prevent germ from someone else from infecting you.
N95 respirator masks
N95 respirator masks are designed to give the perfect fit with no gaps for air-borne microbes. This is considered the safest option. The health workers and the ones working closely with the sick people are relying on it for the maximum protection it offers. The layered masks are beneficial in filtering particulate contaminants and microbes to safeguard your health
Smartsan offers N95 respirators that are ergonomically designed for close fit and has 6 layers for maximum protection. The layers offer protection from bacteria, virus and particulate contaminants that try to gain entry into your airways.
It comes with adjustable nose clip secures with fewer pressure points and the elastic ear loops enable the proper fit. The mask has ultrasonic stitching, a vertical flat fold design that provides convenient probability. The mask also comes with a respirator with valve and an advanced filter media for easier breathing. The Smartsan protective mask comes as a pack with 10 pieces in colour variants including white, grey and pink.
Institutions, offices and shops are beginning to open with relaxations during the COVID-19. It is extremely important for us to equip ourselves with the best protection to be free from infection. With the rate of infection soaring high there is a lot of risk. Talking to a colleague, paying at a cash counter, sitting next to a stranger in a public transport are all risky. Wearing a quality mask is essential especially in such unprecedented times.
It is also equally important to wear them right. Remember not to touch the mask or your face while you are out. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after wearing a mask to prevent infection.