Traditional dust mites can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Allergists call this type of response a sensitized immune response — meaning it’s caused by something that normally wouldn’t create an immune reaction but does now because of another stimulus or trigger.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk of experiencing an allergic reaction. One of these ways is by wearing a mask if you have specific respiratory conditions like hay fever or asthma. These masks come in different forms and types, from those that cover your nose only to those that cover your entire face. Here, we’ll go through how to use N95 respirator masks so you can shield yourself from airborne allergens whenever necessary.
How do N95 respirator masks work?
N95 masks are made of a material that’s 95% efficient at filtering out airborne particles. Epithelial masks cover both your nose and mouth, while nasal masks cover your nose only. Nasal masks are the most common type and are worn with either your mouth or nose covered. Both types of n95 mask work by trapping particulates in a layer between the mask’s outer membrane and the wearer’s face.
When inhaled, airborne allergens are caught in the layer between the mask and the wearer’s skin and don’t make it into the lungs. When the allergens come into contact with the wearer’s cells, the allergens trigger an immune response in an attempt to clear the allergens from the body. This causes the body’s immune system to release histamines, a group of chemicals that cause a variety of symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, hives, and abdominal pain.
What respirator masks are available for everyday use?
Many types of N95 respirator masks are designed for everyday use. Some are designed to be worn for long periods, while others are designed for only short periods. In general, the longer the exposure to allergens, the higher the protection. One type of N95 respirator mask is called a full-face mask, it covers the mouth, nose, and even the eyes and this type of mask protects against both dust and vapor particles.
Other types of N95 respirator masks are designed for specific uses. Dust mask filters come in a variety of types and sizes to fit different work environments. The U.S. Department of Labor categorizes these types as follows:
- Industrial dust masks – used in manufacturing environments and by miners
- Construction dust mask – used by construction workers and in drywall and tile industries
- Foodservice dust mask – worn by waiters and waitresses, cooks, and food service workers
- Healthcare dust mask – used in healthcare settings like hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes
Why you shouldn’t rely on an N95 mask alone
All masks protect you from airborne particles, but no mask is 100% guaranteed to protect you from any given allergen. It’s important to remember that any level of protection from an N95 mask is better than none at all. However, even though N95 masks provide excellent protection, they shouldn’t be used alone. There are several reasons why this is.
All masks protect you from airborne particles, but no mask is guaranteed to protect you from every allergen. It’s crucial to remember that any level of protection from an N95 mask is preferable to none at all. N95 masks only protect against particles. This implies they aren’t as effective against gases and vapors as certain high-end respirator masks. Furthermore, allergens are continually changing, so even if an allergen is present in an area, it is not guaranteed to be present at all times.