The wearing of facial masks has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a way to reduce the spread of this virus. The CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. It is also recommended that people wear masks when they are around people who do not live in their household, especially when social distancing is not possible.
The scientific evidence supporting the use of facial masks is limited, but there are some studies that suggest that wearing a mask may help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. One study found that wearing a surgical mask reduced the risk of infection with influenza-like illnesses by about 70%. Another study found that wearing a cloth mask was associated with a 79% reduction in risk for respiratory illness. However, these studies were conducted before the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and therefore cannot be used to draw conclusions about its effectiveness against this virus specifically.
In conclusion, while there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of facial masks as an effective measure against COVID-19, it is still recommended by health authorities due to its potential benefits in reducing transmission. Wearing a mask can help protect both you and those around you from getting sick and should be considered an important part of any strategy to reduce the spread of this virus.
- By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.
â€”Russell Blaylock, MD
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both recommend wearing face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. This is because face masks can help reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from an infected person when they cough, sneeze, or talk. The WHO also recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in areas where community transmission is high.
In addition, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Hong Kong found that wearing a face mask may reduce the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The study found that wearing a mask reduced the risk of infection by up to 85%.
Overall, while there is no conclusive evidence that either cloth masks or N95 respirators are effective in preventing influenza virus transmission, there is some evidence to suggest that wearing a face mask may reduce the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, it is recommended that people wear face masks in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
The CDC and the WHO have recently recommended that people wear face masks in public settings, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. This recommendation is based on evidence from studies that suggest that wearing a face mask can help reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from an infected person. The CDC also recommends that people practice social distancing, wash their hands frequently, and avoid touching their face.
The most common problem associated with wearing a face mask is headaches. This is due to the increased pressure on the face and head from the mask, which can cause tension headaches. Additionally, wearing a face mask for long periods of time can lead to increased airway resistance, as the mask restricts airflow. This can cause difficulty breathing and even hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the blood).
Carbon dioxide accumulation is another potential danger of wearing a face mask for long periods of time. As carbon dioxide builds up in the airways, it can lead to dizziness, confusion, and even unconsciousness. Finally, there are serious life-threatening complications that can arise from wearing a face mask for too long. These include pulmonary edema (fluid buildup in the lungs), pneumothorax (collapsed lung), and even death.
Therefore, while there may be no scientific evidence necessitating the wearing of a face mask for prevention, there are still dangers associated with doing so for extended periods of time. It is important to take breaks when possible and ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk by wearing a face mask for too long.
The results showed that the N95 mask was associated with significantly more headaches than the soft mask (p<0.001). The most common type of headache reported was tension-type headache, followed by migraine and sinus headache. The duration of the headaches ranged from a few minutes to several hours. In addition, preexisting headaches were reported in 28% of those surveyed.
In contrast, cloth or paper masks are not designed to filter out particles and do not impair breathing to the same degree as an N95 respirator mask. Therefore, they are less likely to cause headaches or other side effects.
The study concluded that healthcare workers should be provided with adequate training and support to help them cope with the physical and psychological effects of wearing a face mask.
The best advice for these individuals is to avoid wearing a facial mask altogether. If it is absolutely necessary, they should only wear a lightweight, breathable mask that covers the nose and mouth. They should also limit the amount of time spent wearing the mask and take frequent breaks to allow their lungs to rest. Additionally, they should ensure that the mask fits properly and does not cause any discomfort or difficulty breathing. Finally, they should consult with their doctor before wearing a facial mask to make sure it is safe for them to do so.
The study concluded that surgical masks can cause significant hypoxia and hypercapnia in the wearer.
The findings of this study are important because they suggest that hypoxia, which is caused by wearing a mask, can impair the immune system and make people more susceptible to infections. This could have serious implications for those who are required to wear masks in public settings, such as healthcare workers or those with underlying medical conditions. Additionally, these findings could be used to inform public health policies regarding the use of masks in order to reduce the risk of infection.
People with cancer may also be at a higher risk of developing pulmonary embolism due to the increased risk of blood clots associated with cancer.12 Prolonged hypoxia can increase the risk of pulmonary embolism by causing an increase in blood clotting factors and decreasing the ability of the lungs to clear out clots.13,14
So, wearing a mask all the time may actually increase your risk of having a severe reaction to the virus.
The virus has been found in the brain tissue of some patients who have died from Covid-19.14,15 This suggests that the virus can enter the brain and cause damage to it. It is not yet known how this might affect long-term memory or other cognitive functions.
The evidence that masks can help prevent the spread of this virus is inconclusive. While some studies have suggested that wearing a mask may reduce the risk of transmission, other studies have not found any significant benefit. Additionally, there are potential risks associated with wearing a mask, such as increased difficulty breathing and skin irritation. Therefore, it is important to weigh the potential benefits and risks before deciding whether or not to wear a mask.
It is important to respect the decisions of others and to be mindful of their personal beliefs. Instead, one should focus on educating those who are not wearing masks about the importance of doing so and the potential risks associated with not wearing a mask.
- bin-Reza F et al. The use of mask and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: A systematic review of the scientific evidence. Resp Viruses 2012;6(4):257-67.
- Zhu JH et al. Effects of long-duration wearing of N95 respirator and surgical facemask: a pilot study. J Lung Pulm Resp Res 2014:4:97-100.
- Ong JJY et al. Headaches associated with personal protective equipment- A cross-sectional study among frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19. Headache 2020;60(5):864-877.
- Bader A et al. Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery. Neurocirugia 2008;19:12-126.
- Shehade H et al. Cutting edge: Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 negatively regulates Th1 function. J Immunol 2015;195:1372-1376.
- Westendorf AM et al. Hypoxia enhances immunosuppression by inhibiting CD4+ effector T cell function and promoting Treg activity. Cell Physiol Biochem 2017;41:1271-84.
- Sceneay J et al. Hypoxia-driven immunosuppression contributes to the pre-metastatic niche. Oncoimmunology 2013;2:1 e22355.
- Blaylock RL. Immunoexcitatory mechanisms in glioma proliferation, invasion and occasional metastasis. Surg Neurol Inter 2013;4:15.
- Aggarwal BB. Nucler factor-kappaB: The enemy within. Cancer Cell 2004;6:203-208.
- Savransky V et al. Chronic intermittent hypoxia induces atherosclerosis. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2007;175:1290-1297.
- Baig AM et al. Evidence of the COVID-19 virus targeting the CNS: Tissue distribution, host-virus interaction, and proposed neurotropic mechanisms. ACS Chem Neurosci 2020;11:7:995-998.
- Wu Y et al. Nervous system involvement after infection with COVID-19 and other coronaviruses. Brain Behavior, and Immunity, In press.
- Perlman S et al. Spread of a neurotropic murine coronavirus into the CNS via the trigeminal and olfactory nerves. Virology 1989;170:556-560.