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If you are in the middle of an epidemic or pandemic like Covid-19, you will hear a number of doctors and media personnel advising you to wear masks, like the N95 masks. These masks are meant to protect yourself and the ones around you from potential diseases that may spread through one’s breath and microscopic droplets released while speaking. The big confusion, however, arises when one has to decide which mask to choose from the many options available in the markets. N95/FFP2 masks are crucial for doctors and other healthcare workers who work very closely with patients as it offers the required level of protection needed to keep them safe. In the UK, you can simply place your orders online to buy the N95/FFP2 face masks at Pharmacy Planet and these will be delivered at your door step.
There are simple masks like the surgical masks available. These are most common and are loose fitted, thereby comfortable to wear. These are however not respirators. They provide some protection, but are not enough especially from a medical professional’s perspective, as they are required to deal with many patients are perform critical tasks. N95 is classified as a respirator and not just a mask. N stands for non-resistance to oil, 95 is the percentage of particles that the respirator is able to stop from entering your system. N95 are capable of stopping 0.3 micro meters of particles. There are other respirators series as well such as the “P” or “R” series that can stop oil based particles also and offer upto 99.97% resistance. However, for a regular person or a health care worker an N95 mask would be sufficient. An N95 respirator forms a tight seal around the mouth and it is important that it stays lightly tight and close to the skin in order to prevent air from entering from the sides. N95 masks are at sale on Pharmacy Planet and you do not even need to go all the way to the store, just buy the Corona Virus N95/FFP2 face masks if you are in the UK by clicking here and you will receive your masks at home.
Press the mask after wearing the mask to check if there is any air escaping. If the mask becomes moist or wet after being on for extended periods of time it is no longer effective. You should also make sure not to touch the mask with your hands as you may transmit the infection elsewhere. Once you are done using the mask, untie it and dispose it off in a closed bin. Make sure to repeatedly wash your hands after you have touched your own mask.
How to wear the mask?
Place the mask around the mouth and over the nose. Press on the metal strip on top of the nose that it fits perfectly over the mouth and nose with room for the air to escape. Always place the lower elastic band first and then the one over the head. Use both your hands in front of your mask and inhale. The mask should tighten. Exhale quickly to check if there is any air leaking out as well. If there is then you need to adjust the straps of the mask accordingly. Always make sure to buy the correct size of the mask. If the mask is ill-fitted you will be at risk of catching a disease even though you are wearing the mask. To remove the mask, remove the bottom strap first and then the top strap and dispose off in the trash immediately. Do not touch the surface of the mask with your fingers.
Non-health workers are usually at a much lesser risk of contracting contagious diseases. However, you can buy Covid 19 N95/FFP2 face masks and use them as a precaution if you know someone who has contracted the disease and is a child or disabled and you have to be around to take care of them.
Diseases like Covid-19 are spread mostly because of carelessness among common people and due to lack of hygiene and lack of awareness of the steps and procedures to be followed. These masks have to be disposed when going between patients to prevent the spread of diseases. Some N95 masks come fitted with exhalation valves. These masks with valves must not be used where sterile conditions are required. N95/FFP2 masks have not been designed for children, therefore they are not available usually in sizes that will fit children. Also if people with facial hair are trying on these masks it may make it difficult for them to fit properly.
Healthcare workers are prone to mask fatigue from wearing these masks for long periods of time. It becomes stuffy as less air is entering the respiratory system and large breathes are required just to get enough oxygen in. People also experience headaches due to elastic tied over the head.
Who should wear masks?
More and more authorities are recommending the usage of masks especially while stepping out in public areas. You may not be coughing or affected by a disease, but you could be a carrier, meaning you may transfer the disease from one person to another without ever getting sick yourself. Therefore, in case of an epidemic/pandemic make sure to keep yourself safe from exposure by covering your nose and mouth with a mask. It is however not recommended that the general public should wear the N95/FFP2 masks. A regular surgical mask, along with the practice of social distancing of at least 6 feet, can also be optimal in preventing infectious diseases.
Usually these N95 masks come with the maximum usability limit. But in times of crisis, the use of these masks can be extended beyond the designated shelf life so long as the seal check is still in place and the masks are not soiled with bodily fluids.