Coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) that causes COVID-19 has changed the total graph of the world. As declared by the World Health Organization it is an infectious disease and the infected patients will experience mild to moderate respiratory problems but it will likely create trouble for older people, having medical ailments related to cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory illness, cancer, and diabetes.
Back in November 2019 the virus first developed in Wuhan city of China and since then it has infected a large number of people with an increasing death rate worldwide finally WHO declared it a Pandemic.
Symptoms that develop in an infected person are:
• Dry cough
• Shortness of breath
• In some cases chest pain too
Use of Face masks to stop the spread of coronavirus
As we have to start living with the novel coronavirus and for that certain precautions need to be taken and out of which wearing a face mask is mandatory to go out in public. Everyone except those with respiratory problems and young children are exempted from wearing a face mask. It is important for everyone to wear face masks in public and especially maintaining social distance is not feasible.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus following are the precautions as recommended by WHO:
- Regular washing of hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub
- Maintain at least 1-meter distance between you and the sick people who are coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your face
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Stay home if unwell
- Avoid smoking and all the activities that weaken your lungs
- Practice physical distancing by avoiding travel and staying away from large gatherings
- Practice regular use of disinfectant and wipes at home
Thus the virus basically spreads through the droplets of saliva and through discharge from the nose when an infected person sneezes or coughs. So practicing the right respiratory etiquette is the key and also you can protect yourself and your loved ones or your neighbors nearby by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based hand rub time by time and not touching your face without washing your hands is the only way you can prevent yourself from getting infected.
Henceforth WHO has recommended using face masks and there are different types of face masks available:
- Surgical Masks
Those masks are loose-fitting and are disposable masks and they filter large particles of dust. These masks protect the person from passing droplets of saliva from one another.
Those masks filter out both large and small particles. These masks have valves attached for breathing without any difficulty. If these masks are not found in abundance then a surgical mask is used.
- Cloth masks
Cloth masks are easy to use and they trap the droplets that are released from a person’s mouth while talking, sneezing, and coughing.
- If masks are used then it will be easy to control the spread of coronavirus to some extent and surgical masks and N95 masks should be used by health care providers and cloth masks should be used by the common man which are light in use and can be reused.
WHO recommends that for non-medical reasons it is better to use a cloth mask or face coverings. Where social distancing is not possible it is recommended to use masks to the prevention of infectious disease to some extent.
It is to be mentioned that although the supreme authorities have made wearing masks compulsory like if you go to buy groceries, to entertainment parks, etc but it is nowhere mentioned that wearing surgical masks or N 95 masks is compulsory. As the wearing of masks has been made compulsory only to prevent the passing of droplets from the nose or mouth while talking or sneezing to the other person and henceforth the supreme authorities have made wearing masks compulsory and for the same, it is not necessary to wear high-end masks. Surgical masks or N 95 masks must be used by the health workers who are directly get associated with the COVID-19 patients and a civilian should always wear cloth masks with soft fabric.
Do face masks hurt your ears?
While wearing face masks has become essential for containing the spread of coronavirus, wearing them for longer periods has resulted in pain and damage to the skin, especially the ears. In order to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, it has become inevitable to wear face masks. It is a precautionary measure to not get infected by COVID-19.
As the supreme authority all over the world has made wearing masks day and night compulsory in public places, Using face masks day and night is not comfortable for the users at all. A medical professional will always know it better, wearing masks causes difficulty in breathing, and also it’s difficult to wear it with glasses on, and also it causes irritation behind our ears. It does cause skin damage too. A study showed damage to skin integrity creates a way for deep penetration of bacteria, and viruses including coronavirus itself. Thus the skin damage can directly help in the penetration of the deadly diseases.
The other most vulnerable part of the body that is most affected is the behind the ears.
The ears are the most delicate and sensitive and important organ of the body and therefore it is very essential to take care of this body part.
While wearing the face masks with straps that are attached behind the ears causes a lot of discomfort behind the ears by causing infection and other irritations thus wearing those masks not only for a long time but wearing them for short period too causes damage too. The user experiences pain in the external part of the ear.
Since wearing the masks is only the key to the prevention of the spread of coronavirus, there is no other way rather use the masks in an innovative way to avoid hurting the ears.
Make face masks comfortable on the ears with the following techniques:
- Use a tie back mask without an elastic ear loop.
With elastic earloop in the masks, it causes irritation at the back of the ears. So avoid masks with elastic ear loops
- Use ear-saver clips.
Try using ear saver loops at the back of the head to use and hold elastic ear loops
- Tie ear loops and sew them into the side of the headband or a cap
Try tying the ear loops by sewing them into the sides of the headband or a cap
Face masks have become a very important and essential part of our daily lives for protecting ourselves or our near and dear ones from the infection of coronavirus. It can be seen that wearing face masks creates lots of trouble for our skin and creates lots of trouble and discomfort for our ears. The loops that are used to keep our masks fixed in place create lots of discomfort on our faces and ears. Thus it is very essential to wear face masks and ear savers and also can start skincare treatments.
Why do face masks hurt so much?
There was a time when we used to wear face masks on some themed occasions only as a general public except the health workers. The health workers use the face masks regularly but now the common man is also forced to wear it on a regular basis and thus now the problems have been identified as it has become a mandate.
Wearing of ear masks day and night causes Ear Chaffing and it the most often heard complaint now days. It is a common complaint as the elastic of the mask rubs behind your ears and causes discomfort.
The moisture and the friction causes irritation as longer usage of masks can irritate the skin as the masks are fastened by loops that are tied over the ears so the ears gets irritation as well. Prolonged usage of masks is not possible for sensitive skin too. It does create damage to the skin; even it creates rashes on the face. There are many forms of irritations like bruising, increased acne and breakouts. When the face mask strap rubs against your ears, it creates friction and that resulted in inflammation in the skin and that results in blisters. This causes wounds in the area and it makes wearing masks difficult for the next time.
As the face masks are tied on tightly, it does not allow airflow from the sides of the masks and as the skin on the outer part of the ear is sensitive fastening the mask tightly on the part of the ear creates irritation, rashes and cuts which develop into big wounds.
While wearing of face masks necessarily don’t prevent you from coronavirus but will reduce the transmission of the virus from the infected person to the normal person.
Once the government released the new guidelines, different types of masks started popping up in the market with mainly the mask with elastic loops started flourishing the market. But those masks with elastic loops create more trouble to ears although it is used to keep the mask on a place. There are different types of accessories available to wear masks without any trouble.
Is ear irritation inevitable?
When you wear face masks in public places to avoid getting infected with coronavirus, it is obvious that for the government orders all over the world, you are forced to wear it for long hours and the face masks you wear always feels tight around your ears and the straps of the face mask chafe your skin causing burning sensations, irritation or develop deep rashes. With summer and high temperatures and humid, it has become difficult to wear the face masks day and night.
It is not that Prevention of ear irritation is not possible; it can be done by following few precautions:
- While buying face masks consider the mask fabrics carefully.
If you are not a frequent traveler and not going to any crowded place and where maintaining physical distance is possible, consider buying a cloth mask with cotton fabric made with breathable fabric in multiple layers and cotton ties. Cotton masks are soft and do not cause any skin irritation. The material like polyester should be avoided and also the materials that trap moisture because of the usage of the water- resistant properties.
- Maintain gentle skin care routine
If you are wearing masks regularly, then always maintain skincare routine and massage delicate ear sides regularly with good ointment to avoid rashes. And also you can use moisturizer twice daily. You can also use honey as honey has antibacterial properties and may be used to heal any open wound. Your daily skincare routine includes using a good hydrating cleanser on the parts of the ears twice daily
- Never wear masks too tight
Everybody wants mask to fit properly around the face to prevent droplets escaping or coming in from the nose or mouth but it is advised not to wear your masks so tight that it creates trouble for breathing in and out.
- Adjust your mask as home
Before wearing your masks for a longer period of time, it is always advisable to wear it at home or for short time like going out for grocery shopping or a nearby place and to adjust it before wearing for long time.
- Change wet masks
Always change the wet masks if it gets wet by sweat or has created moisture inside the mask. A wet mask no longer works. Therefore always keep extra masks with you.
- Always use moisturizer before wearing the masks
It is very important to use moisturizer for dry skin before putting masks and if you have oily skin it is always advisable not to use any beauty products because that may close the pores and there may breakouts or any other acne problems. It might also cause breathing problems. As the directives of the Government has made it compulsory to wear face masks to move out in public and where maintaining the physical distance is not possible and therefore it is mandatory to wear face masks, so when there is a mandate to wear a face mask for the betterment of the society then it is always better to use it with precautions, so it does not hurt your ears and always wear face masks that you are comfortable with and not one which is popular among the celebrities or in social media platforms.
How to make masks more comfortable on ears?
With everyone wearing face masks including health workers and general people, there are few accessories that will make wearing face masks comfortable on ears.
- Strap clip
There are few accessories available like face mask strap clip to prevent behind the ear irritation. You just need to wrap the masks’ elastic straps to the clip and not to the ears. This prevents you from putting pressure on your ears and helps you relieving stress on your ears and as such there will be no irritation.
- Face mask holder Head bands with buttons
Buttons placed on either side of the headbands and you just need to hook the elastic of the mask to the headband instead of behind the ears. To put buttons in the headbands at first draw a circle in the headband in a position that is comfortable for you and then sew the buttons on the place of the circle. This is a good alternative use of using masks not behind the ears and thus it eases off the pressure in the ears.
- Hat or caps with buttons
Buttons placed on either side of the hat and the mask elastic is hooked on the buttons that are placed on either side of the cap and as such it reduces the pressure on the ears and thus there is no much damage done to the behind the ears. It is just simple, sew the buttons on the sides of the cap and use it to tie the face mask. Make sure that you sew the buttons tight or else the elastic of the face mask will put pressure on the buttons and hence it will come out. Also, keep in mind that the mask you hold should not be old or sanitized too often because there are some masks that cannot be stretched too much and if it is old or sanitized then it will pull out from the buttons easily. This cap with buttons technique also keeps the mask intact. Keeping the mask intact is also important.
- Paperclip method
This way of wearing face masks with paperclips is the easiest form of all and for this you just need to attach both sides of the face masks to the paperclip at the back of your head. Although it is quite a good and easy method but it has some drawbacks too as for this you need to use any plastic material or any metal to join the strings of the face mask and hence it will create undue pressure on the back of the head and at the end of the skull and this will develop headache.
- Knitted ear protectors for face mask
The knitted ear saver will definitely help in easing the discomfort and irritation for those who wear face masks for long. Tie each strap of the face masks to the button on the knitted Ear saver at the back of the head and that gives you much relief to the ears. As the strap of the mask is tied on the buttons of the ear protectors, the strap does not hurt the ears rather it is fastened on the ear savers. This accessory gives relief to the ears and does not give undue pressure to the ears and hence there occurs no skin irritation.
Many countries of the world including china are advocating using your hair as a hook a face mask on it. It is the using of small buns that form knobs on the sides of the head and that knob serves to hook a face mask on it. The only drawback with it is that it is not possible for a person with short hair and also putting so much of pressure to the scalp will cause headache and hair loss. There is also high chance of hair slipping out of place and face mask might fall off.
- Face mask Lanyard
It is soft and lightweight face mask strap in place of regular elastic strap. This not only helps you from damaging the skin behind the ears by regular wearing of masks but also it helps you to keep the face mask within reach when not in use.
- Non-elastic Mask
The great way of preventing skin irritation is to avoid masks with elastic. There are some face masks with flexible fabric string, this type of face mask is very comfortable to use. It is always better to use cloth masks rather than using masks with elastic which gives undue pressure behind the ears and also does a lot of harm to the skin as well. Therefore using cloth masks that are available in plenty is the one way of getting rid of the skin infection.
If you are using face masks for a longer period of time, it is always advisable to use it in a comfortable way. The face mask is used to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to end the pandemic to some extent and thus you need to wear it in a normal way as a part of your life and hence the wearing of face masks should not hurt you rather it should be comfortable on your skin. There should not be any second opinion while buying a good face mask holder.
Precautions before using the Face Masks
As it is compulsory to wear a face mask in public places and there is no way out rather than wearing the face masks and also it does not mean that you will sacrifice your comfort and stay protected from disease. So before putting on the face masks following precautions should be followed:
- Never wear face masks while exercising as there may be breathing trouble and the face mask might suffocate and it will do more harm than help.
- Never touch the front portion of the mask while in use as the hands might come in contact directly.
- Before wearing the face masks always wash your hands with soap and water otherwise there might be a high chance of spreading the infection through hands if in case the hands came in contact with the infected person or object directly.
- Always change the wet mask. If the mask gets wet by sweat, it is always recommended to change it.
- Never reuse a face mask without cleaning it as it is very unhygienic to do it and always clean and sanitize your mask before reusing it.
Guide to buy a face mask holder
There are many platforms from which you can buy a face mask holder. There are even plenty of physical stores from where you can buy a variety of face mask holders. There are many eCommerce websites that sell different kinds of face mask holders. Different kinds of face mask holders which you will love to buy.
- Ear saver from Mask
Ear saver from Mask is widely available on Ecommerce sites. These ear protectors basically reduce the pain and pressure on the ears that the user suffers from wearing the mask for a long time. There is adjustable Mask Extension Hooks and the Hooks have four slots that help to adjust the length of the hooks basis on your requirement. This helps the user to put on the mask for a longer period. This is a must-buy for health workers, police personnel, and people engaged with essential services as the mask is specifically designed for long time use.
The material of the ear mask hook is made of soft plastic material that you will feel that is soft and flexible and thus it does not hurt your ears.
- Adjustable Face Mask Holder Extender Head strap hook ear saver for face Mask
This face mask strap holder provides a comfortable lightweight mask strap for ear saver. This face mask extension hook is a 4 level adjustable mask extension strip or a mask extension buckle which is suitable for various types of face masks with two point connection. The mask strap holder fits all sizes and takes the shape of your head as a mask strap overhead. It is a reusable mask strap adjuster is a unique flexible wrapbound hook, perfect mask strap clip. So make wearing a mask easy and smart with this ear protector. It is highly adjustable and better for individual comfort, it fits perfectly to your head to give you maximum comfort.
- Adjustable Auxiliary with anti ear belt mask holder
It is lightweight thoroughly solve the problem of ear pain, and make mask more comfortable to wear. It is always advisable to wash it after every use to keep it clean for next use. This mask holder is easy to use even. After wearing the mask, pull one of the mask strap hook the extended gadget, then finish the other side. It is best suitable for working, hospitals, cycling, hiking, climbing, motorcycle climbing and other activities. This mask adjuster can be used with a earloop face mask. Strap is to be placed behind your head and the loops of the mask fit over the hooks of the adjuster.
- Face mask holder clips for wearing face masks
This is one type of plastic Mask holder clip for wearing face masks and it brings big relieve to ears and it fits to any type of masks. This clip holder comes handy to use to avoid skin irritation behind the ears. Face masks creates no trouble even it is used for longer duration.
- 3 Rang unbreakable Face mask holder and Extender made from biodegradable material
As we all don’t have the habit of wearing masks for long , wearing masks for long causes headache and ear pain and this Face mask extender help you wear mask for long without any pain and headache. This extender keeps your mask secure and steady and avoids readjusting the mask frequently and this in turn helps in avoiding hand contact with mask and its biodegradable ingredient is just the icing on the cake.
There are also other kinds of ear protectors available on the market and one of them is knitted ear protectors for face masks.
The knitted ear protectors are very easy to use. As the health workers are struggling with wounds behind their ears because of the usage of the masks day and night. The main feature of the knitted ear protectors for face masks is to eliminate the pressure on the ears by putting tight strings around the ears. The string of the mask is made with yarn to give it more comfortable to ears.
3D printed ear loop masks
There are 3D printed earloop masks attachments available to help out the health workers working day and night by providing much relief to their ears. This type of mask is developed only after getting feedback from the medical fraternity. Wearing of masks for a prolonged period causes irritation, rashes, and infection on the back of the ears. So a team of researchers agreed upon and started researching a solution to the problem faced by the health workers. So the researchers together with the help of doctors and nurses and technologists managed to develop 3D printed earloop masks attachments to save them from irritation at the back of the ears but this type of mask extender could not be produced in large quantities. It would be of help if the production would have been more.
Other then the face mask holder that is available in the market you can also use face mask holders made at home. The homemade face mask holders are very comfortable to wear and can be made with any spare cloth at home and this types of face mask is bit budget friendly too.
Easy DIY Ear savers pattern
Instead of wearing face masks with elastic and create irritation, rashes behind the ears and ultimately damage the skin it is always better to use substitutes and if this can be made at home then it is always a perfect choice for the users. It is not that the masks have to be a surgical mask rather any coverings that can be used to cover nose and mouth in public and stop the spread of coronavirus as because many people can get infected but still might not have any symptoms but still can pass on to the other normal person unknowingly. So it is always better to use a mask and it is even alright if the mask is not a surgical mask rather any face coverings that can be made at home.
For making masks at home you can use any unused cloth and can use any fabric like cotton or any part of a T-shirt will work better and for the elastic, you can use hair ties or elastic headbands. You can also use cloth strips or also you can use shoe strings. In short anything, you can use in place of regular elastic that can help in tying the mask. These ear loops are easy to use and very comfortable to wear and because of its softness and flexibility, it is easy to use.
There are also face mask extender available in the market stores which helps you while jogging and it comes in the shape of a baseball cap ear saver shield that protects your skin from ultraviolet rays of the sun and also locks your mask in place which is a big requirement while going for a jog. This type of mask helps the user in two ways.
The user can also use a face mask ear guard by tying the string of the face mask through the headband and not tied over the ears. A ribbon or a paperclip or a safety pin can be used to tie the elastic of the mask at the back of the head.
Always buy face masks that tie in the back and not in the loop over ears, and if at all using masks with elastic strap then tie the ear loops on the buttons sewed on the sides of a cap or hat and also use ear saver clips that is placed at the back of the head where you can hold elastic ear loops, using this kind of precautions, this can give you a comfortable feeling without hurting your ears and can help you from irritations that occurs for long usage of face masks. If these simple precautions are followed and the user uses different kinds of ear savers or ear extender then the user can surely protect its ears from hurting it and cause damage to the skin.
Ear loops are causing injury to the wearer’s ears by irritation, rashes. It is causing more harm than the benefit. This often causes ear fatigue. Masks should make the wearer comfortable and alleviate stress and not any damage to it.
Few tips for making face masks and mask Extenders
- As there are no fixed guidelines or regulations regarding the usage of fabric and therefore you can use any fabric of your choice, anything that is soft and flexible cotton is just everyone’s choice as it keeps you cool and cotton fabric has always been considered breathable because of the better ventilation. The cotton material always traps less moisture and so is good for sweating.
- Use headbands to hook on the face mask at the back of the head.
- Can use shoelaces to tie instead of regular elastic.
- Use a piece from your old pair of tights and make a face mask and the strap with it.
- Use yarn to tie instead of regular elastic so that they can be washed and cleaned and is very comfortable for the ears.
Bottom Lines on face mask holder buying guide
As the wearing of masks in public places where social distancing is not possible and hence wearing of masks has been made mandatory and imposing of fines for not wearing masks has been drafted, so it is essential that you wear masks every day to avoid getting infected with the disease as well as to avoid the fines. The health workers and the frontline staff are working day and night to stop the spread of novel coronavirus. As they have high chances of getting infected as they directly come in contact with the infected persons and that is why they are recommended to wear surgical masks and N 95 masks and as they wear maximum time, it causes damage to the skin causing skin irritation, rashes and henceforth it is advisable to wear it in a comfortable way by using face mask holders and with full precautionary measures.
Wearing face masks has become a fashion somewhere instead of the pandemic. There is a lot of stylish face masks available in the physical stores as well as in the Ecommerce sites. In fact, many well-known designers have gone creative and have started making face masks and have created a lot of demand on the market. It is also to be mentioned that many tutorials are available on youtube on how to make masks at home but still people are keen on buying face masks that are readily available.
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