There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has been one of the hardest trials for people around the world. It has not only heavily affected the people but has also left healthcare services under immense pressure.
A challenge that many of us faced was getting used to wearing a face mask for protection. We all grabbed the N95 face mask, which is currently the best mask in the market; however, that left a majority of us struggling to breathe and losing a lot of oxygen.
Being a disposable respiratory mask, the N95 covers your nose and mouth, completely protecting you from breathing in dangerous airborne particles, including those of the coronavirus. Filtering out around 95% of all air particles, the mask is hard on those with pre-existing breathing issues.
Does the mask really deprive you of oxygen?
After receiving thousands of complaints against the mask in terms of trouble breathing, scientists around the world tested the N95 mask for how it affects our oxygen levels.
From various studies conducted over the course of a month or two, it was concluded that the mask does, in fact, reduce the oxygen supply to our lungs by 20%. This is the reason why many people have troubling breathing in the masks and feel fatigued when wearing it for prolonged periods of time.
How to wear the N95 without losing too much oxygen
It's obvious that we all want to maximize our safety by using products, such as the N95, which offer the highest stature of protection against the virus. If we follow some of the tried and tested ways of using and wearing the mask, it is easily possible to reduce the amount of oxygen lost significantly.
- Buying the right N95 mask
With a high rise in the demand for the N95, there are many counterfeit N95 masks being sold in the market. Since these masks are not certified by NIOSH or any other healthcare service, they tend to reduce oxygen saturation by an even higher amount than the actual mask itself. This can be an extremely dangerous ordeal.
Hence, when buying the mask online or in shops, look out for the NIOSH logo and certification approval number on the mask and its packaging when purchasing the N95 mask, to keep yourself from getting scammed.
- Properly wearing the N95 mask
To ensure that you're not losing too much oxygen when wearing the N95, follow the manufacturer's directions given on the mask's packaging. Following the given steps will guarantee that you are wearing the mask properly, which will not only keep you protected against the virus but will also keep you from losing oxygen in excess.
If you want to double-check whether your mask is on properly, conduct a negative and positive pressure check.
- Replacing the N95 on time
It's easy for the mask to get clogged, especially if you are wearing it often. A clogged mask makes it harder to breathe than usual; hence, when you start feeling like your breathing difficulty is increasing, it's time to throw out your current N95 and invest in a new one.
Even after following the steps above, you still feel as though you're losing oxygen when wearing the N95, it is best to opt for alternate choices. Replace your N95 with a cloth mask, a medical surgical mask, or a plastic face shield, which make breathing easier, while avidly protecting you from the airborne virus.