Wearing a mask can get very irritating especially in summers. Sweating inside the mask followed by itching is highly discomforting but do you know that the humidity produced inside the mask is good for you. Shocked? Well, this humidity is beneficial in preventing and combating coronavirus and other respiratory diseases. COVID-19 virus is still lingering around and we are seeing a sudden upsurge in cases nowadays. Considering all these aspects, it is safe to wear a mask daily.
Why does Wearing Mask help In Disease Prevention?
The NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conducted a study that was published in the Biophysical Journal. According to the research, wearing a mask increases the humidity inside the mask and the air breathes is highly humid.
How are COVID-19 and Humidity Linked To Each Other?
One of the reasons why wearing masks lowers the risk of coronavirus infection is the humidity. This is discovered now though. The increased level of humidity in the air inhaled by the person helps in lowering the risk of respiratory illnesses including coronavirus infection. This is because researchers have found that hydration of the respiratory tract is great for the immune system.
Also Read: What Not To Do While Wearing A Mask
The lead author of this study Adriaan Bax who is a Distinguished Investigator in NIH said: “We found that face masks strongly increase the humidity in the inhaled air and propose that the resulting hydration of the respiratory tract could be responsible for the documented finding that links lower Covid-19 disease severity to wearing a mask.”
“High levels of humidity have been shown to mitigate the severity of the flu, and it may be applicable to the severity of Covid-19 through a similar mechanism,” he added.
The Benefits of Humidity
Let us explain to you why humidity is beneficial. According to the report, high levels of humidity promote the production of special proteins named ‘interferons’. These proteins are found to fight against viruses and this process is termed an interferon response. This is why colder seasons were said to be risky for coronavirus infection. Humidity levels are low in cold weather and so, people are easily exposed to this virus.
Commenting on this, Dr. Bax said: “The increased level of humidity is something most mask-wearers probably felt without being able to recognize, and without realizing that this humidity might actually be good for them.”
Masks are extremely effective for coronavirus protection because they create a humid environment and allow you to inhale humid air. Since the transmission is on peak these days, you can wear two masks, one surgical mask and then a cloth mask on it, for double protection. Getting yourself vaccinated is also helpful in safeguarding your health and blocking the path of the virus to your body.
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