What kind of face mask should you be using? Lets Explore.
The recent COVID19 crisis is going to have a deep impact and permanently alter our lifestyles. Our routines, travel, social life, work life everything seems to be challenged by this pandemic. As the lockdowns across countries ease people will move out of their confinements and try to get back to normalcy.
However, the new normal would mean wearing a mask and a pair of gloves to work, gym, runs, and other daily chores. This is exactly where the danger lies.
While it is essential and important to wear masks to protect ourselves from the lethal Coronavirus, it is also important to understand that the same mask if not used properly can cause medical complications and can also lead to death.
Today, various types of masks are available. N95, KN95, Respirator Masks, 3 Ply Masks, cotton masks and what not! You can also buy face masks online through various eCommerce websites and marketplaces. The N95 and KN95 are the most protective and are prescribed for doctors or those who are in direct contact with COVID positive patients. However, to be on the safer side a lot of people use these masks on regular basis for mundane activities. While these masks pose no health risk for normal use, they become lethal if used during heavy exercises, workouts, running or any other physical activity.
For people who want use masks for daily commute, or to office and other outings, a basic cloth masks is also sufficient. They are re-usable and should be washed with detergent after every use. Soap and detergents completely annihilate the virus and make the masks safe and re-usable again.
The N95 masks have 5 layers of fabric of different GSMs all sandwiched together to form one thick barrier that is designed to obstruct small particulate matter, bacterias and viruses. They are made of non absorbent material. One can imagine, the amount of extra effort one has to put in breathing through 5 layers of different materials. It is not recommended to use these masks while carrying out strenuous physical work which demands more oxygen.
Recently, a 26 year old man from Wuhan had to be rushed to a hospital with a collapsed lung. The reason for lung collapse : jogging with a N95 mask on! A 14 year old boy, from central China lost his life for running 1 KM with an N95 mask on during a physical test conducted by the school. In another incident, 2 Chinese school boys dies because of wearing masks in a gym class. (sources at the end of article)
The list is longer and shocking. It is extremely important to make everyone aware of the dangers of wearing a mask during strenuous physical activities.
When our bodies are physically stressed, we need more oxygen, which is pumped by the heart to stressed areas. That is exactly why our heart rate goes up and so does our breathing. An N95 mask, obstructs the flow of air, making you gasp for air. This causes the lungs to collapse, which means the lungs puncture and the air escapes into the chest cavity. The medical term for this is pneumothorax. It is a fatal condition, and if not treated immediately can lead to death.
It is strongly advised not to cover your nose or mouth while exercising, running, jogging or while playing any sports. Even if you feel suffocated while wearing a mask during normal day-to-day activities, it is recommended to limit the use of masks, or choose to wear light single layer fabric masks. It is strongly urged to everyone to choose your mask wisely and also choose to wear it at the right time.
Hope this information was helpful. Share it amongst your loved ones to generate awareness.