Surgical masks, also known as medical face masks, are a part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Surgical masks keep the user protected from solid particulates. These particulates can harm the health of the wearer. The coronavirus disease spreads after the interaction of an infected individual and a non-infected individual. The non-infected individual inhales the respiratory droplets of the infected individual. After the inhalation of the droplets, the person gets infected. That is how COVID-19 cases expand.
Surgical masks cover the nose of the wearer—which is one of the most prominent parts of the human’s body. It covers the nose of the individual to prevent hazardous particulates from entering the individual’s body. Despite the surgical masks’ efficaciousness against the particles of COVID-19, they do not have a tough fit against the facial parts of the wearer. That is why surgical masks are considered less effective than one of their counterparts—which is the N95 respirator.
The N95 respirators act as a barrier in filtering out bacteria, microparticles, germs, dust, viral agents, and infectious diseases, etc. The N95 respirator is one of the most effective face coverings for safety against the particulates of COVID-19. The N95 respirators, because of a tough fit against the user's face, do not allow the harmful particulates to make it through the face covering. It has a very tough facial fit—which does not allow the particulate matter to affect the wearer adversely.
The N95 respirator provides adequate safety to the wearer by the filtration of harmful airborne particulates. The N95 respirators are utilized the most in the healthcare industry. They are used in hospitals, nursing homes, and different types of other healthcare industries. Borrowing or sharing N95 respirators is one of the things that one should not do; this is because one could contract the disease by inhaling the contaminants on the surface of the N95 respirator.
Benefits of wearing both an N95 respirator and surgical mask
The novel coronavirus has made it essential for everybody to wear a face mask. Face masks have become an essential portion of an individual’s life. Masks save lives and keep the people around you protected. The best way to restrict the expansion of coronavirus cases is to wear high-quality, effective face masks such as surgical masks and N95 respirators. Both of these face masks keep the individual safe from the respiratory droplets of the infected individual and airborne particulates of the novel coronavirus.
Surgical masks are preferred for use among the public. Similarly, frontline healthcare workers keep themselves and the people around them protected from the particles of coronavirus. Both of these face masks are effective in providing sufficient safety to the wearer; this is what makes these face masks efficient more than cloth masks. However, nobody has shed light on the fact that the usage of N95 respirators and surgical masks at the same time is safe or not.
Some people contemplate that wearing an N95 respirator and surgical mask simultaneously provides ample protection to the user from the novel coronavirus—which is somewhat true. However, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) states that wearing either of these face coverings is more than ample for the wearer. Wearing either of these face coverings provide adequate protection to the wearer from the hazardous respiratory droplets of COVID-19.
Furthermore, the CDC assures that wearing just one face covering is enough—which means you do not have to wear more than one face mask at the same time. Another thing they shed light on was that either borrowing or sharing could spread the virus among others. In addition to that, one must be certain about the authenticity of their face coverings; this is because there are myriads of counterfeit face masks that are being sold to the consumers at high prices.
Therefore, you do not have to simultaneously use both of these face masks for sufficient protection. However, some people are a bit cautious when it comes to safety from the novel coronavirus. They want to keep themselves fully protected from the coronavirus disease. For them, yes, the utilization of both of these face masks at the same time provides more protection than a single face covering would. That keeps the wearer fully equipped to battle the harmful particles of the coronavirus disease.
Hence, wearing a surgical mask and an N95 respirator is effective at keeping the wearer equipped to fight the novel coronavirus. However, there are a few downsides to using the two face coverings for safety. Although the protection from COVID-19 enhances, there are a few things that could irritate the wearer. The wearer may have to face breathing difficulties because of the two face coverings. Because of the thickness of the face masks, the wearer faces breathing complications.
In addition to the breathing problems, there are a few more problems an individual faces. A large amount of sweat is produced when a certain part of your body is covered for a long time. Gradually, the production of sweat increases and it accumulates on that body part of the wearer’s face. Hence, this is what irritates the user. These are some potential downsides of wearing both of the face coverings simultaneously. To take full advantage of wearing both of the face masks, keep the surgical mask over the N95 respirator. It would not allow the N95 respirator to go futile, and the N95 respirator could be used more than once.