People have been wearing masks in their daily lives for years, whether it be to avoid pollution and dust particles or simply as part of their outfit. However the COVID-19 pandemic has brought masking to the forefront. Right now, public spaces in most countries do not allow people to enter without a mask (unless you’re vaccinated). The main reason, of course, is to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID virus. Masking can offer up to 95% protection from infection. That is, if they fit right. If not, air droplets can bypass the mask and you can breathe them in anyway. So here are 4 ways to help your mask fit better:
1- Choose masks that have a nose wire:
Most surgical masks have a flexible wire running on one side. You can mold this wire according to the bridge of your nose. This helps the mask fit better and prevents air to escape from the top. It is also a great way to prevent your glasses from fogging up.
2- Mask brace:
This handy silicone device helps your masks fit more snugly around the contours of your face. Tested independently by researchers at the Universities of Wisconsin, North Carolina and Iowa, these fitters prevent mask leakage almost as well as an N95 respirator.
3- Knotting and tucking ear loops:
This is a quick fix for store-bought masks that don’t fit. Simply take the ear loops and fold and knot them to minimize spaces between your face and the mask. The CDC even has a video explaining the technique.
4- Adding layers:
The effectiveness of double masking has been a subject of much debate. A recent study published in JAMA says that although the added layers don’t seem to provide much benefit, a second mask can really help improve fit. According to the researchers, air filtration improved when a cloth mask was layered over a surgical mask. However there was no improvement if they layered the masks the other way around. However, the CDC recommends that this layering should not be done with two disposable masks since they aren’t designed to fit well.
And although it’s not a masking technique, we can’t really forget to mention the real boss: social distancing! So don’t forget to wear a mask properly and stay 6 feet apart.