Whether you wear an N95 face mask for work reasons or due to disease safety protocols, comfort is a high priority. Although mask wearing for extended periods can be a nuisance, there are ways to increase your comfort.
1. Open It Fully
An N95 mask can pinch if it isn't properly opened before you put it on. Never touch the inside of the mask. Instead, pinch the top of the mask with one hand and the bottom with the other. Then pull the mask apart until the top and bottom are fully separated and the center is popped out in the fully opened position. The mask will better conform to your face if you take the time to make sure it is fully open.
2. Adjust the Bridge
The bridge of the mask should have a metal strip that allows it to conform to the shape of your nose. Pinch this gently so it follows the shape of your nose bridge and cheeks but doesn't cause any pinching. Not only will this ensure a snugger and safer fit, but it will also minimize issues with fogged glasses or air being blown into your own eyes.
3. Use Ear Savers
One of the major complaints of long-duration mask-wearing is that the straps can rub the ears raw. Fortunately, there are many products on the market, called ear savers, that solve this. Most ear savers are a variation on the design of a strap that goes around the back of your head. The ear loops on the mask are attached to either end of the strap instead of being placed around the ears. You can make your own simple ear saver by unbending a large-size paperclip so is in an S shape. Then, loop the ear straps, one strap per loop of the S, around the paper clip.
4. Change It Often
A dirty mask or one that is damp from condensation is harder to breathe through, smells bad, and can feel hot and uncomfortable. Change your mask daily if you wear it sparingly or every few hours if you must keep it on all day.
5. Protect Your Skin
Red, raw skin is a common complaint. Avoid using makeup on the "mask zone" of your face. Foundation, powders, and other products can clog pores and increase irritation. Instead, use a gentle moisturizer a couple of times a day to help soothe and protect the delicate skin of your face.
Contact an N95 mask dealer like HSM Med Supply to ensure you have plenty of clean masks on hand.