Going to the shops, supermarket or walking down the high street, I’m sure we’ve all seen people wearing face masks in some very strange ways! Whether it's upside down, inside out, or more importantly, not covering their nose, it can be frustrating to see.
Face coverings are here for the foreseeable. Perhaps the biggest mistake that many people make when wearing a face mask is pulling them down so that their nose is exposed or resting the mask on their chin. Face masks must be worn correctly - over the nose and mouth - for them to be effective in suppressing the virus. When your face mask or covering is pulled below your nose or chin this renders the mask basically useless.
A recent study in June 2020 by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill identified how COVID-19 is contracted in our nasal cavity and respiratory tract. The research found the cells that line our nose were significantly more likely to become infected and transmit the virus compared to our throat or mouth. When someone exhales from their nose or sneezes, compared to their mouth, there is a significantly higher concentration of infected aerosols expelled.
“If the nose is the dominant initial site from which lung infections are seeded, then the widespread use of masks to protect the nasal passages, as well as any therapeutic strategies that reduce the virus in the nose, such as nasal irrigation or antiviral nasal sprays, could be beneficial,” said study co-senior author Dr. Richard Boucher.
To reduce the risk of your mask slipping off or sliding down your face, you should make sure it fits correctly and is applied safely before entering public transport or shops. Your mask must be resting on the bridge of your nose and under your chin for it to be fully effective in blocking infected particles. Most disposable masks have a moldable nose clip to give a secure fit. Alternatively, reusable masks may also have adjustable ear toggles to ensure a comfortable and snug fit.
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