For the past year, masks have demanded our attention in news and daily life. However, much confusion remains: What kind of mask works best? When and where should you wear a mask? Is double masking worth it? Should masks be worn if you’ve already received the vaccination?
We’re answering some of these questions – and many others – in our new video Q&A series, OCTO® Unfiltered. But before we dive deeper, it’s important to understand the basics of how to wear a mask, regardless of which mask you use.
Let’s break down three key tips to ensure you’re getting the best fit possible:
Masks need a perfect seal.
In order to achieve maximum protection, your face mask needs to create a perfect seal on your face, covering both your mouth and nose. Almost all surgical masks, fabric masks, disposable masks, bandanas and similar styles do not create a perfect seal. This means contaminated air can still be inhaled and exhaled through your mouth and nose. We created the OCTO® Respirator Mask (ORM), a reusable elastomeric respirator mask, so it would make a perfect seal to nearly every person’s face, dramatically increasing protection. Here’s a simple hint: If you wear glasses and they get foggy when you wear a mask, then your mask isn’t creating a perfect seal. OCTO® Respirator Mask (ORM) and any other mask that creates a perfect seal will never fog up your glasses.
The straps are important.
Most masks come with straps that wrap around your ears. In OCTO® Respirator Mask (ORM) case, we created straps that that wrap around the back of your head. It’s necessary to understand how to properly wrap the straps around your ears or head, because this helps create the perfect seal that’s needed to protect you against contaminated air. Straps can be finicky depending on the type of mask you’re wearing, so be sure to try on your mask at home before you actually have to wear it while out and about.
Masks aren’t comfortable.
This might feel like common sense, but it’s important to reiterate. Wearing a mask is always going to be less comfortable than not wearing one. If your mask is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, then that’s an added bonus – which is exactly why our OCTO® Respirator Mask (ORM) has an incredibly soft silicone skirt. But ultimately, any mask’s primary purpose is to keep you protected, not make you feel more comfortable. Do not feel tempted to think that your mask isn’t working correctly just because it doesn’t feel comfortable to wear.
If your mask creates a perfect seal, you’re wearing the straps correctly, and you’re aware that the purpose of masks is to protect you rather than make you feel more comfortable, then you’re on the right path.
We’d love to hear from you if these tips were helpful, or if have questions about how to properly wear your mask. If you have any other questions that you’d like clarity on, please contact us and we’ll do our best to respond. Maybe your question will even make it to the new OCTO® Unfiltered video series!