Face Mask: Practical Advice and How To Wear One
Who would have thought only a few months ago that the whole Melbourne community would need to wear a face mask to leave the house.
In fact, this was probably unimaginable just a couple of weeks ago.
We thought it would be useful for our Osteopaths to give you some practical advice about wearing masks, how to safely take them on and off, as well as some other considerations to keep in mind.Watch this video on how to wear a face mask by our Osteopath, Dr. Elizabeth Brew for more information.
Wearing a mask can take a little to get used to, initially you may feel a little hot, steamy and dry in the mouth all at the same time.
We are wearing a full kit get up at the clinic and may appear a little unrecognizable right now.
Just remember we are the same people on the inside.
What you need to know about wearing a mask
A good mask however won’t affect your breathing capacity, so you don’t need to worry about not getting enough air.
However if you are wearing a mask and feel like this is the case, it is possible that you are not wearing a good enough mask.
This is particularly important if you’re wearing a reusable mask, as it may be made of fabric that isn’t recommended for mask making.
Remember to never touch the front of your mask and use the ear loops when you need to remove it.
If the mask is ill fitting, it may fall and move about, you need to get a different mask.
Just think about it for a second, your breath and other peoples are coming into contact with the front of your mask and is potentially a highly contaminated area.
If you touch it, then touch something else, there is the possibility of a very high viral load being passed around to different surfaces, people, or into your own body.
Wash your hands before and after touching a mask, or use sanitizer when you are not able to do so.
Most people do touch their head and face 15-16x per hour on average and never even realise they are doing it.
Please try to remain vigilant and conscious of when you are fiddling with the mask (or touching other parts of your face).
You can wear a surgical mask for up to 4 hours, then it will need to be replaced.
These are the type we wear in clinic and are sometimes referred to as a type 1 mask.
An N-95 mask can be worn for up to 5 days – again think about how you will take it on and off, where you will store it and don’t touch the front and resist the urge to fiddle.
Being very realistic, we wouldn’t really recommend that you wear it more than the day, due to storage and safety concerns.
We now require all visitors to Koru to wear a mask at all times (except babies).
To increase our safety and surprisingly our comfort, we also wear face shields.
How about a face shield?
These are a plastic shield that goes over the top of the mask, you can see it closer here.
While I can’t say why this would be the case, it seems to reduce the amount of fogging we were experiencing in comparison to wearing googles.
A face shield is apparently quite effective, but the Victorian Government guidelines to currently mandate that we must wear masks, so this would not be enough on its’ own.
A reusable mask can also be effective, however they do need to be washed regularly and may need the filtering layer replaced.
Please remember you need to wash at 60 degrees +++ for a minimum of 30 minutes to kill the virus.
In addition, we recommend you wash your clothes after you have been out and about, such as supermarket shopping and immediately have a shower on your return home.
This reduces the chance of you accidentally bringing the virus into your home.
If you don’t have yet have a mask, you can purchase a surgical mask from us for a small charge.
Remember we are all in this together and the more we are able to follow the guidelines and wear a face mask, the sooner we will be able to get back out and about in the community together.