The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that everyone wear a mask in public to slow the spread of the virus causing COVID-19. For some, it may mean wearing a mask for an hour or two at a time. But for others who are going back to work or traveling by plane or train, they may have to wear their masks for many hours, perhaps even all day.
First of All, Is It Safe to Wear Masks All Day?
Some reports have cautioned that people who wear masks for extended periods may breathe in too much carbon dioxide and too little oxygen. However, this concern is not backed up by evidence, with healthcare workers who routinely wear masks for long periods not showing side effects related to excess amounts of carbon dioxide or insufficient oxygen.
There is a possibility of extended mask wearing causing acne, irritated skin and skin lesions. Also, people could infect themselves if they touch the outside of their masks (if contaminated) and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
What Happens to Masks After Wearing Them All Day?
After wearing a mask all day for many days, the fibers in the mask material may start to degrade, which could affect the protective properties of the mask. If you wash your mask in between days of all-day wear, your mask will likely lose its protective properties more quickly. This is because cleaning agents like detergent, bleach or alcohol may disrupt the electrostatic properties of the mask, which enable the mask to trap virus particles. A good rule of thumb is to check if the fabric of your mask looks worn out. If so, discard your mask.
A Comfortable Mask Makes All-Day Wear Easier
Although wearing a mask all day does not cause serious side effects, it may still not be very comfortable. This could prompt people to remove their masks in high-risk situations, such as in a busy workplace or on a crowded plane or train.
To increase your comfort when wearing a mask for many hours, consider using a mask made of a relatively porous material such as cotton. Porous materials have tiny holes that allow air to pass through, making it easier for the wearer to breathe. Additionally, if you’re seeking added antimicrobial benefits and more longevity out of your masks, try those infused with Nano-Silver Technology such as the Boomer Nano-Silver Reusable Protective Face Mask. You’ll want to avoid materials that are too porous (such as gauze) as they will not serve to protect you enough against the virus causing COVID-19. On the other hand, a mask material that is too tightly woven will not be very breathable and could be uncomfortable for all-day wear.
If you find your ears get sore from wearing a mask all day, make sure you purchase a mask with adjustable ear loops to ensure they don’t pull too tightly. You can also add a few Ear Savers into your collection. These lightweight and flexible bands attach to the ear loops of your mask at the back of your neck to relieve pressure on your ears, ensuring a comfortable fit that lasts all day long.
Have More Than One Mask Handy
If your mask becomes wet or soiled, it can encourage viruses or bacteria to grow. Wet or soiled masks need to be changed. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have extra masks on hand in case you need to don a fresh mask. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after removing your wet or soiled mask.
Stay Comfortable and Safe
When you need to wear a mask for many hours or all day, it is important that you stay comfortable and safe. To help ensure this, choose a mask made of breathable material like cotton such as a Boomer Nano-Silver Reusable Face Mask, check your mask regularly for wear and tear, and have extra clean masks readily available.