Asthmatic Patients & Face Masks During Covid-19: Things To Remember
In usual days also asthmatic people had to be extra cautious of their surroundings as they had to constantly protect themselves from airborne allergies, infections and diseases that triggered their asthma problems but since the time coronavirus has begun the challenges for asthmatic patients have increased as they not only have to cautious about keeping themselves safe from the deadly airborne virus but also to wear a face mask that keeps them safe and at the same time allows them to breathe without triggering their asthma problems
As we know that since the coronavirus has begun it has been recommended by WHO and many countries' governments to wear a face mask when one is stepping outside in the public. Therefore, it gets very important to understand what are the factors that have to be kept in mind by asthmatic patients when they step out in public while wearing a face mask.
WHY WEARING A FACE MASK IS SO IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE?
We all know that wearing a face mask is a precautionary step to keep ourselves safe from the dust, pollutant, smog and harmful air pollutants. But before coronavirus began, wearing a face was a matter of choice but now it is a matter of life, as it is only through the face masks one can keep themselves safe from getting exposed to the deadly droplets of coronavirus that can spread in the air through someone’s coughing, talking, sneezing etc. Therefore, in these crucial times of coronavirus wearing a face mask though may not eliminate the coronavirus but will minimize the chances of people getting infected with it and gradually enhancing the chances of breaking the chain of mass contamination.
On the other hand, wearing a face mask is just one precautionary step that has to be followed with other precautionary steps such as maintaining social distancing, washing hands regularly, sanitizing surfaces, avoiding the touching of eyes and only coming out of the house for essential requirements. Thus, if all of us follow these precautionary steps amidst this pandemic then we can soon bring an end to it.
As recommended by the WHO face covering is pertinent for everyone but some categories of people should not wear a face mask such as:
People who have breathing problems
Children below 2 years of age
Anyone who cannot wear or remove the face mask on their own
Thus, now the question arises is it necessary and safe for asthmatic patients to wear face masks? The answer is yes, the asthmatic patients must wear a face mask when they are out in public. Though the need and the kind of face masks which has to be worn by the asthma patients also depends on the conditions of their asthma.
Asthma can vary in people as some may have mild or controlled asthma and on the other hand some may have acute asthma with frequent exacerbation, hospital visits, and heavy medications. Therefore, it has been suggested that patients of mild or controlled asthma can wear face masks, patients with severe asthma should avoid any face coverings or going out of the house in the times of coronavirus.
THINGS TO BE REMEMBERED BY ASTHAMATIC PATIENTS DURING CORONAVIRUS
1. EXCESSIVE LAYERED MASKS ARE A NO
For asthmatic patients, excessively layered face masks can also cause breathing problems which is why for them it is pertinent that they wear face masks which are with 3 layers and are made of 100% cotton fabric which shall make ventilation easy. It has also been suggested by many medical professionals that asthmatic patients can wear masks which are made up of heavy-duty cotton T-shirts that can effectively protect them from getting exposed to any infectious droplets while having access to easy breathing.
2. GO OUT WHEN WEATHER ALLOWS
Weather plays an important role for asthma patients as too hot, humid weather or increase of pollen in the air can trigger asthma attacks which is why it is advisable for asthmatic patients to not go out of the house during the times when the weather is too hot or humid in temperature and when the pollen counts are high in the air during the day
3. DO SOME EXERCISE
Exercising is a must for asthmatic patients but not very vigorous exercise. But in the times of coronavirus going to gyms or exercise classes may not be a safe option; also going for walks with face masks can increase some difficulties in breathing therefore, it is advised by health experts that asthmatic patients should consider working out at home or if they are in a park where there aren’t many people then they can take their walks without the face mask.
But in case wearing any kind of face mask or face covering is difficult for the asthmatic patients then it would be advisable that they adhere to the following:
Stay indoors as much as possible.
If in public maintain 6ft distance.
Avoid coming in contact with a sick person.
Avoid crowded areas.
Clean and disinfect your surroundings regularly, especially the objects you touch.
Though it is advised that asthmatic patients should stay indoors but as the unlocking phase has begun in many countries, the fact cannot be ignored that like others many asthmatic patients are also required to report back to their workplaces. Thus, in this scenario to ensure that an asthmatic patient is safe, certain precautions need to be taken by both the asthmatic employee as well as their employer:
Not to let the asthmatic employee be working in places which involves being in public.
If an asthmatic employee can work from home.
An asthmatic employee should wear a face mask that is made of sufficient layering and cotton fabric.
Wearing of a face shield, if a face mask cannot be worn.
Frequent breaks for the asthmatic employee so that they can remove the face mask in an isolated place and breathe.
To be at the home if the asthma problem or COVID-19 symptoms are visible in the asthmatic employee.
THINGS TO BE REMEMBERED ABOUT FACE MASKS BY EVERYONE
The purpose of wearing a face mask only gets fulfilled when the face mask is made of some protecting layering and high-quality fabric. According to the WHO, face masks should have:
An outer layer made of polyester or polyester blend with effective water resistance.
A middle layer made of polypropylene or non-woven fabric.
The inner layer should be made of 100% cotton fabric.
HOW TO CHECK FACE MASKS?
To check whether a face mask is sufficient to protect us from the harmful substances in the air, one can test the face mask by holding the face mask against the light. If the light can be seen through the face mask then it means that it may not be able to give us enough protection. The key factor to know the effectiveness of face masks is to check that whether while blocking the light is the face mask still providing us access to easy ventilation or not?
Another factor that has to be kept in mind regarding face masks with valve or vent is that the vent or valve in the inside of the face masks also need to be covered with a protective layer of fabrics so that one’s droplets from the nose or mouth do not pass through the vents or valve in the open air and spread any kind of infection.
FACE MASK V/s OTHER FACE COVERINGS
Many people dismiss the idea of wearing a face mask because it is uncomfortable and which cannot be completely said as false but in these challenging times face mask is to be seen as protective gear rather than a fashion style statement. Unfortunately, many people have also replaced the face masks with bandanas and neck gaiters as they argue that the need of the hour is to only cover the face which can be done by anything.
But in reality, one has to understand that the real need of the hour is to cover the face with an effective protective layering that will prevent the infection and deadly viruses to enter through the face masks and harm our respiratory and immune system which is why a face mask should not be replaced with bandanas or neck gaiters because they are not made to give effective prevention from the airborne diseases and viruses existing in the air.
HOW TO WEAR AND MAINTAIN HYGIENE OF FACE MASKS
To effectuate the protection of face masks one also has to remember that unless certain hygienic habits shall not be followed while wearing a face mask the purpose of protecting oneself through face masks wouldn’t be fulfilled. Therefore, following are certain mandatory hygienic rules that one has to adhere to keep their face masks clean and safe:
Before touching the face mask and wearing it, always wash the hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Do not touch the face mask or face covering while wearing it.
If the face mask or covering gets damaged or damped then replace it with a new one.
Remove the face mask by its ties or ear loops, do not touch those parts of the face mask that touch your face.
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer.
Wash fabric covering or masks with hot and soapy water.
Throw away the disposable masks immediately.
Thus, it cannot be denied that wearing a face mask is challenging especially for people who are already suffering from asthma but as mentioned above the need of the hour is to keep ourselves and everyone around safe by minimizing the spread of the infectious droplets in the air which can be only achieved if we all wear protective face masks and maintain social distance.
Looking at the challenging times and determined to ensure that everyone is safe Kenko Medicare, a leading face masks manufacturer has designed protective and safe Kenko N95 face masks which give 3D protection and a safety valve for our respiratory system. All the Kenko N95 face masks are designed with protective layers of fabric in 5 and 6 layers of high quality and skin-friendly fabric that gives the highest safeguard against the airborne infections and diseases along with the comfort of breathing easily.
Keeping in mind the difficulties of asthmatic patients, Kenko N95 face masks are designed with 3 layers with 100% Cotton fabric that will give the asthmatic patient a complete safety as well as easy ventilation. The effective protection of all the Kenko N95 face masks is because of its Advanced Melt Blow Filters that effectively filters 99.7% of bacteria, dust, smog. pollutants, viral and infectious droplets.
So whether you are a healthy person or an asthmatic patient or you know someone who is asthmatic, wearing a face mask is important to keep yourself protected against this invisible enemy i.e. the coronavirus therefore, next time when you step out of the house wear a Kenko N95 face mask that shall keep you completely safe and let you breathe easily.
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