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Face Masks | Effective prot...

Face Masks | Effective protection or unnecessary?

 

Naomi Campbell was seen leaving St Pancras wearing a face mask earlier this week, so Now! Magazine asked our very own ENT Consultant Mr Ullas Raghavan about the advantages of wearing a face mask in public places, or whether it really is just a step too far...

  1. Q - Would something like this be at all effective?
  2.  
  3. A - It gives some benefit, reducing the chance to inhale infected droplets in the air.  This is not fool proof and it is not going to give complete protection.It can be said it is better than not using a mask. Surgical masks are designed mainly to prevent the spread of infected droplets from an infected person.  That is the reason for surgeons and nurses using masks.
  4.  
  1. Q - Is there anything else she could be doing that might work better?
  2.  
  3. A- The best technique is to stay away from potentially infected person by avoiding crowded area particularly if the crowd is full of potentially infected people such as children. This may be difficult to observe and the next best technique is to avoid, as much as possible, to inhale infected air.
  4.  
  5. Q - Is washing your hands just as good at keeping away colds?
  6.  
  7. A - Infected droplets in air spread colds and flu. The infected droplets are dispersed in air when an infected person sneezing and coughing. Washing hands may be helpful after touching infected materials or surfaces.
  8.  
  9. Q - I've seen people wear ones with filters for keeping pollution away. Are they any good?
  10.  
  11. A - Depends on what they are allergic to.  If the allergy is to grass pollen, trees, house dust mite, animal fur, danders etc, mask with filters are helpful even though, again, they are not totally reliable to completely eradicate the spores.