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Face Masks: What to Wear?

Our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 include the use of masks. However, knowing which masks are the best can be confusing with so many different kinds available.

Whilst people can transfer the coronavirus even when they don't exhibit symptoms, an increasing number of studies strongly indicate that wearing face masks in public, even when you feel fine, can help stop the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask is primarily to protect you and others from you.

But which mask is ideal? 

Experts advise focusing on the fit, breathability and fabric when buying a mask. A mask's ability to protect you depends on its material composition, as well as how securely it attaches to your face. However, you're less inclined to wear it for long if it restricts your breathing.

 

As you read along, you'll know the different mask types and how they can protect you and those around you effectively. 



Medical Masks

One type of personal protective equipment used to stop the spread of respiratory illnesses is the medical mask. They serve as a barrier between the wearer's mouth and nose and large respiratory droplets. 

• P2 or N95 Respirators

N95 or P2 masks are made to cover the mouth and nose securely. They can filter out at least 95% of microscopic air particles when you wear them properly. Moreover, this mask type is great at safeguarding you and those around you. 

P2 masks are still in short supply, according to experts, and should only be used by frontliners and those in the medical field. If you do manage to obtain one, you should be aware that some of these respirators are knockoffs. Hence, be sure to check if what you’re buying is authentic. 

• Surgical Masks

Disposable surgical masks are protection against tiny particles and should be worn snugly fit over your face. They were limited at the beginning of the pandemic but are now available almost everywhere. Level 3 surgical masks in Australia may effectively stop most respiratory droplets. 

 

Fabric Masks

A fabric face mask, a covering you wear over your mouth and nose, is made of basic fabrics, which are often cotton. Public health organisations advise using fabric face masks when more effective masks are not available or when it is difficult to keep physical distance.

However, public health organisations do not see them as personal protective gear since they are less effective from viruses than medical masks in general or social distancing. 

 

Can a Face Mask Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus?

Yes. Masks are incredibly beneficial in preventing the coronavirus from spreading within busy indoor public spaces. This is most particularly effective if there is a mixture of unvaccinated and vaccinated people, considering that the virus can spread by droplets discharged into the air by sneezing, coughing or simply talking. 

Which Face Mask Is Ideal for COVID-19?

You’re probably wondering what’s the best mask to buy for COVID-19 protection. 

The Communicable Diseases Network Australia offers a description of various masks and respirators for COVID-19 protection. In general, the most important things you can do are select a mask that fits snugly and wear it properly and often, especially when it's required.

When using a face mask, be sure to consider the following:

  • Wear it properly and consistently. Otherwise, wearing it beneath your nose or pulling it down when you speak makes it ineffective. 
  • Your cloth mask should fit well over your nose and mouth to serve as an efficient filter. 
  • Before you put on and after you remove your surgical mask, make sure to wash your hands with soap or hand sanitiser. 
  • Your mask should not slip when you're talking or moving, making it possible to wear it without having to constantly adjust it.
  • To fit the face and avoid eyeglass fogging, the mask should have a movable nose bridge.
  • There should be no gaps in the mask, and it should fit your face comfortably. The air you inhale and exhale should pass through your mask rather than around it via the top, bottom or side gaps. 

Masks continue to be a significant means of staying safe as long as the highly contagious coronavirus pandemic is here. When it comes to which one’s better, remember that N95 masks provide 95% of airborne particle filtration than fabric masks. Just make sure you buy authentic ones.

In case medical masks aren’t available in your area, a fabric mask with two layers of a tight-weave cloth and an integrated pocket to put a filter on is a recommended choice. 

Can I Wear Masks With Exhalation Valves?

Avoid surgical masks with exhalation valves. Take note that there are disposable and fabric masks with exhalation valves. Whilst they make it easier for you to exhale, it also releases unfiltered air. Therefore, valves are not capable of protecting others in case you’re contagious. And safeguarding others is one primary reason you wear a mask. 

Dexcon | Leading Medical Device and PPE Supplier in Australia

Be it fabric or surgical masks, wearing one doesn't make you immune to viruses, but they can buy you extra minutes of protection from viruses and other tiny air particles. 

Make sure you do your research before buying your masks and be wary of counterfeit ones. At Dexcon, we offer nothing but high-quality face masks for you and your family. 

For your PPE and medical supplies, we are is pleased to work directly with a variety of international manufacturers. Our products include COVID-19 masks and respirators, medical devices, test kits and more that are tailored to medical and industrial demands. We make sure to give you the best pricing possible. 

For more details about our products, contact us today.

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