Photo: NBC News
Double Mask Fact Check: When to wear and not to wear. Photo: NBC News

When to wear Double Mask?

Good quality

Zabaneh suggests that if you double mask, you should choose a good quality mask that maximizes filtration. It should be constructed in such a way that it creates a good seal on your face so that unfiltered air doesn’t leak around the mask.

He suggests looking for masks that filter well and provide a good seal without inhibiting your breathing too much. “There are many such masks on the market at this time,” Zabaneh said, Healthline reported.

Photo: Creakyjoints
Photo: Creakyjoints

The CDC says you should try double masking at home first.

Double masking may seem like an inviting way to ensure that you are extra protected, but all these possible mishaps could just cause trouble. To ensure that you are double masking in a way that is safe and effective, the CDC recommends that you try out it out at home first before going out in public.

"Try walking around the house or outside for several minutes while wearing a mask with improved fit and filtration to assure that you can breathe comfortably and that your vision is not reduced," the CDC recommends. And to make sure you're staying as safe as possible, The CDC Says This Is How to Know Your Mask Is Working.

When to not wear Double Mask?

You should not double mask if you find it is too hard for you to breathe.

Photo: Gothamist
Photo: Gothamist

All effective masks- be it surgical or N95 masks have been designed to fit snugly around the face which ensures that the nose and the mouth are well-covered. Adding layers, or additional masks will make it altogether more for you to get fresh air to breathe. This is for the same reason, masks which have exhalation vents aren't recommended for use, Timesofindia Indiatimes cited.

You should also not double mask if your vision is affected.

According to the CDC, adding an extra mask to double mask could actually block your vision. If your vision is obstructed, you may need to stop double masking or find different masks to layer that won't affect your eyesight. As the CDC points out, "reduced vision could lead to trips, falls, or other injuries." And for more from this agency, The CDC Is Warning You Not to Do This Right Before You Get Vaccinated.

You shouldn't use two disposable masks to double mask.

Photo: USA Today
Photo: USA Today

The CDC says that there are also some "mask combinations" that you should avoid when trying to double mask. According to the agency, you should not double-up on disposable medical procedure masks. After all, these masks "are not designed to fit tightly" and wearing one on top of another won't do anything to improve the fit of your mask. However, the CDC does recommend layering a cloth mask on top of a disposable medical mask, as this method "provided much better protection to the wearer and to others," as compared to wearing either of these masks on their own. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter, Bestlifeonline noted.

You shouldn't use KN95 masks when double masking.

The CDC warns against layering KN95 masks as well. According to the agency, "you should only use one KN95 mask at a time." Not only that, but the CDC also says that you should not wear any other type of mask on top or underneath a KN95 mask. As Paul Hickey, president of PuraVita Medical, a company that manufactures KN95 masks, and Sam Barone, MD, chief medical officer of BioPharma and president of Halodine, previously explained to Best Life, this could be because layering KN95 masks may make it harder to breathe and could alter the fit, resulting in it being less effective and potentially dangerous. And for more mask concerns, The CDC Just Issued a Warning About This Kind of Face Mask.

Aren't more layers the better option?

Photo: WSJ
Photo: WSJ

Current health guidelines suggest that people choose a mask which contains at least 2-3 layers of fabric that can fit and cover your face well.

While layers are always a preferred option, the objective can be simply achieved by using a good quality mask- that has multiple layers in it. Having to use 2 or 3 masks, in the hopes that it will add layers won't really serve better protection.

At the same time, do remember that most of the masks under offering right now carry similar rates of effectiveness-while a surgical mask is good for general use, N95, which offers more protection is suitable for ones on the direct line of duty. Thus, because both N95 and surgical masks are pretty effective on their own, thinking that combining the two will add more protection won't necessarily work.

Secondly, what one needs to know is that wearing additional masks can suffocate you, and lead to additional woes.

All effective masks- be it surgical or N95 masks have been designed to fit snugly around the face which ensures that the nose and the mouth are well-covered. Adding layers, or additional masks will make it altogether more for you to get fresh air to breathe. This is for the same reason, masks which have exhalation vents aren't recommended for use, Timesofindia Indiatimes cited.

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