Are Face Shields Better Than Masks? COVID-19 pandemic makes everyone are required to wear masks when they are outdoors.
However, not everyone is comfortable using that kind of nose and mouth cover.
In addition, the use of wrong masks is precisely the potential to increase the risk of infections, rather than preventing the spread of viruses.
As an alternative to the mask, a number of manufacturers also made a face shield cover with a curved plastic panel closing the entire the face field.
Some people consider the face shield to be more comfortable, easily removable, reusable, and easy to clean.
However, which is more effective at preventing the spread of viruses, face shields or masks? Are Face Shields Better Than Masks?
The research on the face Shield is limited, but promising.
In the study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene in 2014, face Shield is applied to the creation of the breathing robot.
The creation was made by researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
After that, the study puts another robot that is coughed up the flu virus to the front of the robot, at a distance of about 50 centimeters.
Face Shield was able to prevent the robot from inhaling 96 percent of the virus in five minutes.
In additional tests, the effectiveness of face shields varies based on the size of the droplets released.
But the overall indication is, face shield can protect the wearer from the germs spread by others.
Unfortunately, there have not been any studies discussing whether the face Shield is able to protect others from the germs coming out of the wearer’s mouth or nose.
Advantages and disadvantages of masks to prevent corona
Advantages of masks to prevent corona
- Masks are appropriately used as personal protective equipment (PPE) when we have to do activities outdoors.
- Masks can block droplet particles (splashing fluid from the respiratory tract), which contains germs, including Coronaviruses, when a person talks, breathes, coughs, and colds.
- Masks can also close tightly all sides and bottom of the face area to provide protection of the mouth and nose of the germs.
Many of these benefits can be obtained with notes, masks are used in the right way.
- If not used properly, the effectiveness of the mask to protect a person from exposure to germs like Coronavirus is decreased.
- Masks have also not protected the eye area, one of the entrances of the disease, so it still needs additional protection such as glasses.
- One of the other masks disadvantages is, the mask is difficult to use to communicate for people who rely on mouth readings.
- This condition can make people close together and ignore the safe distance of at least two meters from the others.
Read also: Types Mask For Coronavirus and How To Use It
Advantages and disadvantages of face shield to prevent corona
- Face Shield is considered to provide protection of eye, nose, and mouth areas.
- The simulated cough study in 2014 proved, the face shield could protect its users from viral exposure up to 96 percent, when used within half a meter of the person who was coughing.
- Unlike masks, the face shield also tends to be practically usable and a minimal gap fault way of use.
- Related to sterilization, face shield can be disinfected anywhere. So people do not have to bother carrying some face shield when outside the house.
- Face Shield is also considered to be more friendly deaf mute people who rely on mouth readings to communicate because it is made of transparent material.
- In addition, with excellence in terms of communication, face Shield can support the safe distance. Everyone can communicate without needing to be close together.
- Nevertheless, the face shield is considered weak from the security side because the germs still have gaps to enter at the side and bottom.
- Not only that, studies related to the effectiveness of the use of a face shield to protect themselves from the exposure of the coronavirus as per evidence is not yet available.
Are Face Shields Better Than Masks?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the CDC have suggested everyone wear masks, but have not suggested wearing facial protectors. Face Shield is now more widely used by doctors and healthcare personnel in hospitals.
In a JAMA opinion article published on April 29, 2020, doctors and public health experts Iowa City, USA, said that facial protectors are a better choice than masks for a variety of reasons. One of them, face protector is easier to disinfect than cloth masks. The wearer is easier to breathe when wearing it, write the researchers.
In addition, the face shield prevents the wearer from often touching the face, while the cloth mask only covers the nose, cheeks, and mouth. Users also don’t need to open face shield when it comes to talking to someone, who tends to be done on a mask.
According to them, the face shield can help reduce the risk of Covid-19 infected when the user also practices good social distance and hand hygiene.
However, not all experts agree that face shield is better than a mask. An infectious disease specialist, Bruce Polsky, who is also the head of medicine at the NYU Winthrop Hospital, said that the face Shield is a PPE for a health worker. Face protectors are always worn in addition to face masks, and not mask substitutes.
It says face Shield serves to provide an extra layer of protection, especially to protect the eye when making close contact with someone who is either positive or suspected to be infected with Coronavirus.
So, Are Face Shields Better Than Masks? We cannot say that face shields are better than mask, but it serves to provide an extra layer of protection.
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