Hyderabad: With the rise in pollution levels and the fear of viral fevers, people have begun asking doctors if they should be wearing masks to protect themselves, and which is the best one.
There are 10 types of masks in the market which is adding to the confusion of the people. Pollution particles also carry oil, and masks should be able to deal with it.
The N95 is advised for those suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease It is not advisable for children and those with facial hair as it will not fit properly and create heat inside.
Dr C. Vijay Kumar, senior pulmonologist at Apollo Hospitals, said masks should fit well without leaks. “An expiratory valve is recommended so that there is not too much heat inside. The normal surgical masks which are used in hospitals are not recommended as they do not offer effective protection both against pollution and viral infections,” he said.
People must watch for certification categories like N, R and Pare NIOSH which shows that they are approved air purifying respirators. The efficiency rating of these masks are 95, 99 or 100.
All masks can’t be reused, and they shouldn’t be put on all the time. Dr K.K. Aggarwal, senior cardiologist, explained, “N masks are to be used when no oil is present in the air, R is recommended when oil is present.”
He said re-use beyond a single shift of eight hours is not recommended. “They must be used only when the exposure to particulate matter is expected to be very high like in a high traffic zone or a very highly crowded place where there are chances of infection,” Dr Agarwal said.
For children, N95 graded masks are available online, a senior pulmonologist said. There are no specific masks for children. a doctor said. Those with facial hair have to check the mask design and ensure that it fights them properly around the ears and nose. Those who wear glasses or are frequent users of headphones or hats must look at instructions....