Should face shields over your surgical mask be worn when working out?

Surgical mask

Surgical masks are commonly referred as; it protects people from the wearer's respiratory toxins. But it is intended to protect against large droplets, splashes, or sprays of body fluid or other fluid. Surgical masks are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Face shields

They are clear plastic or Plexiglass shields that cover the entire face down to or below the chin from the forehead. An elastic headband holds the shield in place.

According to a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, face shields have been shown to decrease viral exposure by 96 percent when worn within 19 inches of a cough and by 92% at the currently suggested 6 feet of social space.

Should face shields over your surgical mask be worn when working out?

Face shields are a transparent plastic sheet that is fastened in the manner of the front head-band. William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease expert, and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, says “the true plastic covers your whole face and typically stretches below your chin”. “For anything going out, but also for things going in a face shield provides a barrier”.

Actually, face shields are pretty normal in hospital and working settings right now, says Andres Romero, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Santa Monica, Calif., Providence Saint John's Health Center. “Every person in contact with a patient at our hospital wears a face shield. By wearing a shield on top of a mask, it will help protect healthcare workers. Part of your treatment may enable you to have contact with a patient who isn't wearing a mask while you're taking care of a patient”.

One research that used a cough simulator found that 4% of particles created by a cough can get under a face shield and be inhaled right after the cough occurs, but it still provides some layer of protection. Face shields are not ideal. Worth noting, though The face shields only reduced the amount of contaminated aerosolized particles inhaled by 23% after the coughed-out aerosol had dispersed around the room.

The 2020 research review concluded that face shields should not be used as solitary face/eye protection, but rather as adjunctive to other PPE, such as protective face masks and goggles in medical settings, due to the absence of a good facial seal peripherally that can enable aerosol penetration. But note, we are wearing face covers at present to help protect those around us, not necessarily to help protect ourselves.

“Although there is currently no scientific evidence to endorse the general public's use of face shields, that does not mean that they may not be beneficial”, says Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a specialist in infectious diseases and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Protection. The same 2016 review noted that there are loads of benefits to face shields, such as protecting a greater portion of the face, feeling more relaxed, having less breathing effect, and being inexpensive.

Dr. Adalja claims “face shields can be more effective than face masks alone since when wearing a face shield, people are far less likely to touch their face”. They can be taken off and washed as well. They're a much more appealing choice in several respects.

Although a surgical mask or N95 mask is frequently worn under a face shield by medical personnel, Dr. Schaffner says it is not really appropriate for the general public. “Doctors use both mask and shield in invasive procedures where they produce an aerosol, such as intubation”, he says. “The typical individual is not going to experience that. If any people want to go out and about with a face shield, it might offer a degree of protection equivalent to a surgical mask”

According to all research and experiments by doctors and scientists. Face shields are not effective as an individual against the coronavirus in this pandemic. We should wear face shields over surgical or N95 masks to save our surroundings.

As the research above proves, when the wearer of face shield coughs, face shields cannot stop all drops of virus it just stops 4% of it. But if you wear a face shield over the surgical face mask, it will make you sure that you are protecting yourself and others as well.

CDC recommends face shield for healthcare professionals, not for public

Face shields are NOT approved for daily activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Even, instead of a face mask, you should not wear a face shield, the CDC wrote in its guidelines.

“It is not clear whether face shields have any advantage to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles as source control”, the CDC wrote. “When prolonged close contact with other individuals is required, some individuals may opt to use a face shield. They can wrap around the sides of the wearer's face and stretch to below the chin if face shields are used without a mask. Disposable face shields should be worn for a single application only. Reusable face shields can, after each use, be washed and disinfected”.

The CDC has also proposed shields for healthcare professionals who work, but not for people in daily life. Although scientists assume that most transmissions of COVID-19 occur from respiratory droplets that come from a person who speaks or sneezes and then reaches someone nearby nose or mouth, those droplets may also enter through the eye.

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