N95 Masks comes in many models, one of which is the model L-188 N95 with a foldable style. These masks are personal protective equipment that one is advised to have, especially now during the Covid 19 pandemic. With the rampant and rising cases of Covid19, we have to protect ourselves in any way possible to avoid contracting the virus. The virus may be deadly, but it is something that one can prevent from getting infected with the precautions and the proper personal protective equipment used.
Masks are an essential part of personal protective equipment; the World Health Organization, health care professionals, and the government advised us to use facemask at all times when going outside and when talking with somebody. Using face masks may be very inconvenient because many of us are not used to wearing these masks before the pandemic strike. Some people find the wearing of masks very uncomfortable as it somehow limits the air coming in and out.
How Long Should You Wear N95?
The Centers for Disease and Prevention reported that prolonged use of any N95 mask could be safe up until 8 hours. However, before following the CDC recommendation of the 8-hour use of N95 mask, the users should check for the manufacturer’s guidelines. Wearing Face shields all over the face can also help limit the soiling of the N95 mask, which would allow the prolong of its use.
CDC also states that the re-use of N95 masks is allowed as long as it is not too much spoiled and it only has minimal to no contact with viral infections. However, they suggest that re-using masks such as N95 masks should not be more than five times.
Discomforts Brought By Prolonged Use of Face Masks
As mentioned earlier, many of us, especially those not used to wearing any masks before the covid19 started, had a significant problem with the discomfort it brought.
The wearing of face masks seems to make it harder to breathe. Some may experience shortness of breath like dyspnea, especially during the prolonged use of face masks. Because of a cloth covering the nose and mouth somehow limited air entry and exit, making the user feel resistance in airflow. It is advised to breathe slower to decrease air resistance against the mask to address the problem. If you are walking with a face mask on, make sure that you walk slower to reduce the demand for air on your lungs.
The wearing of masks somehow results in a claustrophobic feeling. The fact that there is something covering half of your face would trigger a claustrophobic feeling. Claustrophobic is an extreme fear in a very confined place or space. Regarding wearing a face mask, putting something on top of the face may make some users feel anxious and trigger claustrophobic feelings. To mitigate this problem, the user who is wearing the mask should know that he or she is not in any danger. She must acknowledge her security first to avoid the feeling of being anxious. After admitting that he or she is indeed safe, he or she must focus on breathing. To relieve anxiety, taking deep, slow breaths which can help alleviate the feeling of anxiousness. The user should also give himself or herself a chance to get used to the new norm that we are experiencing now. It would result in anxiety for first-time users, but as time goes by, they will be able to get used to it and grow more comfortable using face masks. It will take time, but there will come a time that we will all get used to it.
The Prolonged Use of Face Mask Irritates the Skin. One of the problems that teenagers and adults face is the increased acne production because of the prolonged use of facemask on the skin. Reasons for the abrupt increase of acne production are that masks can trap the accumulated oils, irritants, and allergens against the skin and block the hair follicles, causing the breakout of pimples unexposed area. Aside from acne breakouts, there are also reported instances wherein red, scaly rash wash cream can help unclog the pores that are why you are having breakouts. If you are using cloth masks, make sure to wash the mask cloth regularly as well.
The Ear Loops used in the mask would hurt the ears. The ear loops that are worn in both ears can make the ears sore, especially with the prolonged use of face masks. With the prolonged use of face masks, the ear loops would create and apply pressure around the ear area, causing it to sore. Sometimes, the sore around the ear area may irritate, thus, using moisturizers and cream. There are available gadgets in the market that a consumer can purchase to lessen the pressure coming from the direct contact of the ear loops to your ears.