Why the N95 respirator is worn around the head (and not the ears)

If you are new to wearing an N95 respirator, you are probably wondering why it is worn around the head. Some individuals are often concerned about the way that N95 masks are worn. With that, this article aims to provide you with a comprehensive account on your N95 respirator and why it is worn the way it is.


Your N95 Respirator

Your N95 respirator is meant to be a tight-fitting facepiece that aims to protect you against the coronavirus. It has a very high filtering efficiency that can prevent the wearer from inhaling airborne particles. N95 masks are usually worn by medical experts. If the end-user does not use the N95 mask properly, he may have inadequate protection or end up contaminating himself more. 


The Fit Test

The N95 respirator requires the user to conduct a special fit test first before using the N95 respirator. Fit tests are necessary as it affects the level of protection that the N95 mask has to offer. Users should make sure that they use the N95 respirator only when it properly fits their size.


Why Does It Go Around The Head? 

The question now is: if the fit test is enough, why are N95 masks worn around the head? The following are some of the answers:


It helps the mask to fit properly.

As stated above, the fit of the N95 mask is very important. The end user must always ensure this aspect. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated an issuance saying that fit is one of the most important aspects of the N95 respirator. 


According to the CDC, for the N95 respirator to work, it must work with the following characteristics: 

  • The respirator must be 95% effective in capturing particles instead of allowing them to pass through the user’s mouth and nose;
  • It must fit the user’s nose;
  • There must not be space or gaps between the respirator seal and the user’s skin; and 
  • The N95 respirator must get donned and doffed correctly.

If you wear an N95 respirator through the ear loops, the user may not get the right level of fit and protection that he needs. However, through the head, the user can ensure that it fits without any gaps or space. 


It prevents movement. 

Since fit is important for the N95 masks to protect the user properly, it is necessary that the N95 respirator do not move. By going around the head for the fit, the user can be assured that the mask will not move just through a single movement or because of fast winds. 


You are not meant to hold the mask after use.

One of the most important aspects of wearing an N95 respirator is the fact that you are protecting yourself from the environment. If you somehow end up with a problem where you touch the mask at the end of the day, you should make sure that you wash your hands and sanitize after discarding the mask. This one is one of the reasons why the N95 respirator goes around your head and not through your ears. As you remove it, there is no way that you would end up touching your face or the mask.


It is easy to remove the mask through the head.

In relation to the second reason, it is easy to remove the N95 respirator since it is wrapped around the head.


As stated above, the CDC requires that the N95 respirator must be put on or donned and taken off or donned properly. When you remove the mask through the back of the head, you protect yourself from any further contamination.


You should read on the proper way for you to remove and put your N95 respirator to prevent confusion and further contamination.


You will not feel any pain at the end of a long day wearing the mask. 

Wearing ear loop masks can become problematic at the end of each day. An N95 respirator with the proper fit will not cause you any pain at the end of everyday. You are sure that you have the protection with the pain.


The material requires reinforced support.

Since N95 respirators are considered as the gold standard when it comes to masks, the materials used are also high quality and require reinforcement. 


N95 Respirators Are For Your Protection

At the end of the day, remember that the N95 masks are meant for your protection. Even if you feel awkward by the head loop, you should wear the N95 respirator with the right fit and movement. It is necessary for your own protection. 


Wear Your N95 Mask Properly

Keep in mind that you must always wear your N95 mask properly. It is important that you do not unnecessarily contaminate yourself with the virus. By wearing your N95 mask properly you are protecting yourself and your family the way that you should. 


With the millions of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States alone, you need to make sure that you are properly protected. After a long day, remove the N95 mask properly, put it in the trash bin or in the proper place if you are to reuse it, take a bath, wash your hands properly, and sanitize using alcohol. Your N95 mask use is only as good when you follow the right protocol to maintain you and your family healthy and safe from the virus.

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