A respirator mask can be more effective than a surgical or cloth mask in preventing the spread SARS-CoV-2.

This guide will show you how to maximize the performance of your respirator.

What's the purpose of a respirator ?

The gaps at the edges of respirators such as KN95 mask made in USA prevent you from breathing in any airborne particles. They are made from electrostatically charged plastic, which repels viruses and prevents at least 95% from passing through. They conform to a particular manufacturing standard.

Who can use an N95/KN95 mask?

Respirators are safe for adults, but they are not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America (USA). They may not be able protect you completely because they aren’t designed for smaller faces.

Facial hair can impede the fit. The reason is that the respirator's edge cannot form a tight seal around your face and chin. If you don't want to shave or trim your moustache, a surgical mask will suffice. You can also double-mask your face by adding a cloth or surgical mask to the top.

Which respirator works best?

It is subjective and depends on your personal preference. You can try several styles until you find the one that suits you best. In hardware stores, P2 respirators can often be found in larger sizes to fit men. Alternatives may be available that are more suitable for smaller faces.

Instead of tying your ears with loops, try an adjustable nose piece that crosses the back of your head and straps that run across the forehead. This will ensure a better fit. Avoid valved N95 respirators as they can allow virus particles to enter the air.

Be on the lookout for counterfeits

Do not feel unsafe wearing respirators. They have not been professionally "fit-tested" like respirators used by healthcare workers.

You should be cautious when purchasing respirators online. Avoid respirators that are not marked or packaged with the FDA logo. This logo can't be used to market the product. On the box, include the manufacturer's name as well as address.

How can I wear one?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States of America, you should follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hands before you put on the respirator.
  2. You should inspect the respirator for any tears, holes or moisture. Never use a wet or damaged respirator.
  3. Take the elastic straps apart and hold the respirator in one hand, with the nose piece facing upward.
  4. The respirator should be used to cover your mouth and nose.
  5. A respirator is attached to the nose or mouth of an individual.
  6. One elastic loop should be placed near your crown and the other one below your ears. Make sure the straps are not twisted or crisscrossed.
  7. Secure the elastic straps of the respirator around the back by one person
  8. To shape the flexible strip to your face, place it across your nose and cheeks. Press with your hands on both ends of the nose.
  9. Press your fingers down on the cheeks and nose with your fingers.
  10. Examine the edges for hair sticking under the edge or creases.
  11. Conduct a "fit check." Breathe quickly and deeply. The respirator will then suck inwards. Inhale and then exhale to inflate the respirator. If you can feel air coming in or out of your glasses, fogging, or if the respirator is not sucking in, then the seal may be defective. Perform a "fit check" by repositioning it.

After you have put on your respirator, wash your hands. It's possible that the front of your respirator may have become contaminated. Re-sanitise your hands if this happens.

Can they be re-used?

Respirators are intended for one-time use. However, with proper care, respirators can be used outside of health care settings.

  1. A respirator that is used more than once will eventually fail. This could be due to worn elastic straps, which can cause a poor fit or component failure. Most respirators can be washed for five to twenty times, while some may last as long as twenty.
  2. Keep several on hand so that you can rotate them on different days. Each one should be dried between uses.
  3. Remove the respirator if it becomes wet. Only the straps can be removed. To avoid getting your skin and hair dirty, keep the respirator at a safe distance from your face.
  4. Throw it out if the respirator is not fitting, damaged, or worn too often.

How to Avoid

  1. Avoid microwave-cooking or washing your respirator. This can reduce its ability to filter viruses and electrostatic charge.
  2. It is best to keep it out of direct sunlight.


Although they can slow down the spread of SARS, they do not stop it. If you're ill, it is important to stay home.

Author's Bio: 

AccuMed is part a new generation of high-quality, affordable health and personal care products that bridge the gap between affordability, innovation, and ease of use.