Will a Face Shield Protect You From the Coronavirus?

If you’ve been struggling with masks, this might be the alternative you’ve been looking for. We’ve been doing the mask mambo for months now. Some of us can wear them effortlessly while others…yeah, well. Let’s just say this new accessory has added a little frustration to some of our daily activities. But whether we like it or not, masks aren’t going away anytime soon.

What’s the alternative to foggy glasses, dragon breath, a mask that travels all over your face or just being a hot, sweaty mess all the time? If you aren’t afraid to stand out in a crowd and don’t mind taking a bolder route when it comes to personal protective equipment options, a face shield might be the way to go.

What is a face shield?

During the early days of the pandemic, we all probably laughed at images or videos of people who were wearing plastic water jugs on their heads or putting pot lids in the front of their hoodies to protect themselves from COVID-19. Well, despite their viral moments, those people were kind of on to something.

Face shields have been used in healthcare settings for a while now. They recently became a staple for medical personnel who have to intubate patients with COVID-19. But face shields are often worn during a wide variety of medical procedures. This includes surgeries or any procedure where bone fragments, blood or other bodily fluids could get into the eyes, nose and mouth.

A face shield is simply a curved plastic or Plexiglas panel that can be worn over the face. If you’re having a hard time picturing one, think of those old-school transparent visors that you might have rocked in the summer — or a new-school music festival visor that you rock now. A face shield is kind of like that, except the visor part slants down to cover your face and extends slightly beyond the chin.

Are face shields effective?

A 2014 study showed that when tested against an influenza-infused aerosol from a distance of 18 inches away, a face shields reduced exposure by 96% during the period immediately after a cough. The face shields also reduced the surface contamination of a respirator by 97%.

What are the advantages of wearing a face shield?

If you’re tired of struggling with a mask or don’t enjoy having a pocket of hot air on your face for long periods of time, a face shield offers protection and the sweet relief of fresh air.

What are the disadvantages of wearing a face shield?

As mentioned earlier, masks absorb droplets when we sneeze or cough. Clean your face shield once you take it off. You can sterilize it with an antibacterial wipe, alcohol pad or good old soap and water.

Do you need to wear a face shield and a face mask together?

While surgeons and other skilled medical professionals wear face shields over face masks, it’s not necessary for the average person to do so. However, it’s good to keep social distancing guidelines in mind when wearing your face shield in public to maximize its effectiveness.

If your face shield cracks or becomes damaged, don’t continue to use it. Many places offer face shields in bulk. This makes it easier for you to pitch the damaged face shield and move on to the next one.



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