medical mask

Masks save lives. They've proven to greatly reduce the risk of transmitting infectious diseases through droplets.

Without them, diseases can spread at a rapid rate. In medical professions, masks are a staple for protecting doctors, nurses, and patients from disease.

Not everyone wears the same types of masks, though. It often depends on your everyday activities. Depending on your occupation, you may need a different or more protective mask.

Are you wondering what the best type of medical mask for you is? Read our guide on which mask you need to keep yourself protected.

Why Should I Wear a Mask?

Medical masks have one main goal. They protect you and others around you from the spread of infectious diseases. This is why it's very important to wear one during a pandemic or other health crisis.

They do this by limiting the number of droplets and particles that circulate through the air. Once droplets have left your mouth or nose, the mask stops them from moving any further. This, in turn, means that the chance of someone else coming into contact with these particles is slim to none.

Even if you don't have symptoms, it is still possible to carry a virus unknowingly. Wearing a mask will protect friends, family, and the public from also contracting a virus.

The 3 Types of Masks

When searching for the right mask for you, it's important to know the differences between them. Here are 3 common types of masks to know about.

Cloth Face Masks

The cloth face mask covering is one of the most common types of masks that you'll see out in public. Many are homemade, or some use scarves or other clothing in place of one.

It's still important that these types of masks meet certain requirements. They must fit your face securely and cover your nose and your mouth. The mask shouldn't be loose or uncomfortable.

It's good to have ear loops that can keep the mask secured to your face as well.

These masks are usually equipped with many layers of fabric. This ensures that the chance of droplets making it through the fabric is low.

Despite being homemade, they work fine to visit a store to grab some milk. They do a good job of stopping the spread of viruses and keeping everyone around you safe.

Surgical Face Masks

These types of face masks are common to see in medical clinics. They're used by doctors and nurses to ensure that they're well protected. If a patient who may have a virus coughs or sneezes, there's a barrier of protection between them.

These masks are also common to see used by the general public. While you can't wash them, they are disposable. Once they're used, you can throw them away and use a new one.

They're similar to cloth face masks as they need to securely fit the face and they're held in place with ear loops.

They do a great job of catching droplets and particles before they even have a chance to spread.

N95 Respirator

If you've listened to the news, then you've heard talk of the N95 respirator mask. These are almost exclusively reserved for healthcare professionals. They've been tested and approved for use in medical professions.

It's a high-grade face mask that filters through about 95% of droplets and particles. Safety is of the utmost importance when wearing this type of mask. Healthcare workers wear them when working with patients who have contracted a virus.

The N95 Respirator differs from other face masks because it is tight-fitting. They must be properly fitted before each use.

These masks cannot be reused. They also have an N95 filter in them to target any airborne droplets.

Face Shields

Face shields may seem like a great alternative to masks, but there are a few things that you should know. Unless they're paired with a mask or other protective gear, they don't give much protection.

Shields are open towards the bottom. This means that if you cough, the particles, and droplets are still going to spread. If you wear both a mask and a shield, you're better protected.

Face shields are most commonly used by medical professionals along with other gear. This way, they have full-face protection in addition to their mask.

Which Medical Mask Do I Need?

Choosing the right type of mask comes down to your everyday activities and needs.

For someone who is going to a store or public place, a homemade face mask or surgical mask is perfect. Don't forget to social distance!

Healthcare workers should always wear something with a little more protection. This can be a surgical mask or an N95 respirator.

According to the FDA, the general public doesn't need an N95 Respirator. General face masks or surgical masks will be enough to protect anyone while out and about. Paired with social distancing, your face mask should be enough protection.

Face shields are also not something that the general public needs to use. In healthcare, they can be especially helpful.

Despite this, washing your hands and sanitizing are all good practices to keep healthy.

If you're using a reusable face mask or covering, you should also make sure to keep it clean. You should always wash it every time you come back home and use an alternate mask if you need to.

If you want to make sure that you're staying as safe as you can, then going with a medical mask will give you the best protection.

Looking For Medical Masks to Protect Yourself and Others?

Now you know the different types of medical masks that you can use to protect yourself and others. Masks are best used indoors and in public places where you're near others.

At Save Rite Medical, we carry a wide selection of medical masks for healthcare workers and individuals. We have N95 respirators, surgical masks, and other options to choose from.

If you're looking to save lives and wear a protective medical mask, have a look at our selection today!