March 24, 2021

Double Masking – Myths and Facts

While the world seems to be recovering from COVID-19, it is still not time to lower our guards. Research shows that it may be time to double mask. However, it is not that simple. Read on to know more about what is true and false about using double masks.

It is not new information that coronavirus is transmitted primarily through respiratory droplets from one person to another. Wearing the correct mask in the right way becomes essential. Double masking is when you wear one mask over another. It serves two purposes – better fit and more layers of filtration.

Fit and seal

A well-fitted mask is imperative to protect from contaminated respiratory droplets effectively. It seals the area around the mouth and nose perfectly so that infected air particles can neither enter from outside nor escape the mask. When wearing two masks, the outer mask can seal gaps in the inner one, thus ensuring a better fit.

Porosity

Another advantage of double masking is the increase in the number of filters. Adding more layers of protection is a great way to reduce the chances of infection. However, it is essential to choose the suitable material as filters. If the layers have a wide weave, then they do not add any protection. Comparatively, a surgical mask will offer you more protection due to its low porosity.

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The right way to double mask

Here are some points to remember while double masking:

  • The right fit while double masking is using a cloth mask over a medical-grade mask.
  • It is crucial to ensure that the layers are not porous and offer a snug fit when worn.
  • The outer mask must push the edges of the inner mask close to your face and seal all gaps securely.
  • Both masks must cover the nose and mouth completely.
  • Follow all other precautions like social distancing even while double masking

When to double mask

Double masking is especially necessary if you cannot find a medical-grade mask that fits you well. Most masks are made in standard sizes to fit all, so finding the right size for you might be difficult. Double masking may help if you are in a closed environment with other people, while one mask would suffice while going for a walk alone in a sparse locality. If you are using a medical-grade N95 mask, doctors say it is unnecessary to wear another one over it as N95 masks offer good protection against infection.

Alternatives

If you prefer to wear just one mask, there are techniques to fit better and seal any gaps. For example, a single surgical mask may work better by knotting the end of the mask and tucking in the fabric so that air cannot enter or escape.

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Another way would be to use mask fitters or braces which push the mask close to the skin and block any gaps. This way, a single mask can almost give you the effect of double masking.

Please speak to one of our healthcare professionals to know more about the right way to mask up and other ways to protect yourself against infection.

For more information or to book an appointment, call 800 4272 or email info@healthbayclinic.com.

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