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IS WEARING TWO MASKS BETTER THAN ONE?

01 June, 2021 Ayesha Sana

Masks have never had such global importance until the covid-19 pandemic hit us. It has been advised by a health professional from all over the world to cover our nose and mouth with a mask to prevent the spread of covid-19 or better said, to break the chain.

There are various types of masks now available in the market: surgical masks, cloth masks, disposable masks, N95 masks, and many more which are easily available offline and in online pharmacy. Some masks are washable while the others must be disposed of after use. With the onset of the second wave of covid-19, while it is being said that the virus can now spread through the air, people are tending to use the double mask technique. We see a lot of hype and popularity of double masking. People, especially media influencers are teaching the proper way of wearing a double mask.

All you have to do is to wear a surgical mask under your cloth mask and make sure that the edges touch your face and there is air leakage.

Around 95% of the world’s population, live in countries that have mandated the usage of masks in public areas. With the wide variety of masks available and now with the new trend of double masking, the confusion is which mask is the best and which is the better way for wearing a mask or maybe even the masks.

Let us first try to know the basic types of masks:

  • Cloth mask: It proposes to trap respiratory droplets that are delivered when the wearer talks, hacks, or sniffles. It additionally goes about as an obstruction to shield the wearer from breathing in droplets delivered by others. The best material’s covers are made of various layers of firmly woven texture like cotton. Masks with layers will prevent more drops from overcoming your mask or getting away from it.
  • Surgical mask: They are loosely fitting expendable masks. They're intended to shield the wearer from contact with drops and showers that may contain germs. A clinical mask additionally sifts through enormous particles in the surroundings while breathing. To make surgical masks more perfectly sized, tie the ear circles where they append to the cover. At that point overlay and fold the superfluous material under the edges.
  • N95 mask: They are believed to be the best masks to shield you and provide comfort while speaking as well. It is a kind of respirator and fits most perfectly in comparison to other masks. They are supposed to be disposed of after use. They provide maximum protection
    Apart from these masks, we have masks that come with filters attached. Though they make breathing easier, they do not provide complete protection from the spread of infections.

There are some dos and don’ts while wearing a mask:

  • Make sure to wash and clean your hands before putting on your mask.
  • Spot your cover over your mouth and nose and jaw.
  • Tie it behind your head or use ear circles. Ensure it's not uncomfortable.
  • Try not to contact your mask while wearing it.
  • In the event that you unintentionally contact your mask, wash or clean your hands.
  • In the event that your mask gets wet or grimy, change to a perfect one.
  • Put the pre-owned, used mask in a sealable sack until you can dispose of it or wash it.
  • Eliminate the mask by unfastening it or taking off the ear circles without contacting the front of the veil or your face.
  • Wash your hands following eliminating your cover.
  • Consistently washcloth masks in the clothes washer or by hand.

Let’s have a look at the concept of double masking as well. Some masks do not fit well, like the surgical masks, and have air leakage. In such cases, double masking comes to the rescue as it provides better fit and coverage. Apart from the better seal, it also provides more protection as it increases filtration.

The proper way to do double masking is to use a surgical or medical mask under your cloth mask. N95 masks, are complete in themselves and do not require double masking in any case. The double mask can be beneficial while going to crowded places or public places. Though we should at any cost avoid unnecessarily going out, and even if we go out due to some reasons, we must strictly follow the government guidelines and maintain proper social distancing.

While wearing a double mask, make sure that it fits you properly, does not block your vision, and also does not make breathing difficult for you.

Also, face masks must not be used by people who have breathing difficulties, children under 2 years of age, and also people who cannot wear or remove the masks on their own.

Masks should never be used as a substitute for social distancing. We should maintain proper distancing and stay at home during such testing times.