Why Clear Masks are Beneficial During COVID-19
Posted on January 15 2021
Clear masks are beneficial during COVID-19 by providing a clearer path to communication. This also allows those who may have difficulty hearing to be able to communicate more clearly.
Health Canada recommends that everyone do their part to help in reducing the spread of deadly viruses during high risk times, like pandemics. This involves wearing properly fitted adjustable masks, avoiding social gatherings, keeping at least 6 feet distance from others, and following government recommendations for your jurisdiction.
Health authorities recommend the general public wear medical grade face masks similar to the ones used by health care workers and others assigned to wear them by health authorities. The use of any face mask does not in any way supersede the need to follow other government or health unit recommendations for measures to stop the public spread of any virus, including washing and disinfecting your hands, practicing social distancing, and others.
If you wear a non-medical grade face mask, it is best to wash your hands immediately before putting it on, avoid touching your face while wearing it, wash your hands immediately after taking it off and wash it after each wear.
Our masks are not intended for children under two years of age and all children should be under adult supervision while wearing masks. Anyone who has breathing difficulties or is unable to remove a mask without help should consult with their doctor before wearing face masks.
The Government of Canada recommends that all non-medical grade face masks be made of breathable materials such as cotton, linen, or silk. Washable, reusable filter fabrics such as non-woven polypropylene are highly recommended by Health Canada because they are more effective in blocking smaller particles from passing through than regular woven fabrics.
Although Health Canada recommends that non-medical grade face masks be made of only breathable materials, they do make mention of the use of clear masks when lip reading is necessary for communication. Some common names for this type of mask are; clear masks, communication masks, lip-reading masks and transparent face masks.
Some Considerations and Benefits of Clear Masks
Allow For Easy Communication: Clear masks are made with a clear plastic panel across the front in the area of the mouth. These masks make it easier to communicate because they allow for lip-reading of the wearer and a better visual of facial expressions of the wearer, both of which are very important for many people.
Although there is not enough data to support these masks’ efficiency, they do help with comprehension for those speaking different languages and those working or communicating with children, the disabled, the deaf and the hard of hearing.
May Help to Reduce Respiratory Droplets: This communication mask or clear mask should have three layers of breathable material, preferably with one of those layers being a washable filter fabric such as a nonwoven polypropylene.
The Plastic Panel is a solid layer that also helps with reducing respiratory droplets spray. When you wear a clear mask or communication mask, ensure it fits well around the nose and under the chin.
Helps Bring Relief: Clear masks are intended to provide maximum visual clarity of the wearer. A smile to the sick or stressed people is important. It can also be comforting to people with disabilities and to children who may be confused and feeling emotionally isolated when their caretakers and loved ones are wearing cloth masks that conceal their mouths and facial expressions.
With clear masks, you can offer a comforting smile to many people in need. Seeing the caring and compassionate facial expressions of a caretaker or loved one is not possible when cloth masks are covering the mouth, but it is with the use of clear masks and communication masks.
Helps Reduce Frustration and Isolation: The use of face masks has caused such difficulties for the deaf and hard of hearing because of their dependence on reading of lips to communicate and understand others.
It is very difficult when these people must interact in public setting such as retail stores, banks, with their educators or caretakers, and they are wearing face masks that conceal their mouth.
The deaf and hard of hearing communities rely enormously on lip-reading in order to understand communication and there is such a high level of frustration and a feeling of isolation for these individuals when other peoples’ mouths are concealed.
Clear masks and communication masks help to break down the barriers that cause frustration and isolation for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Helps Reduce the Volume of Speech: Masks are important and recommended by health authorities for public safety, however; using an all cloth mask increases communication challenges for children and adults.
Communication is less challenging when people wear clear masks because you can clearly see the wearer’s lips move.
Wearing clear masks reduces the need to shout or speak with a higher volume both with people who are hard of hearing and also for anyone in loud environments because people can better understand what the wearer is communicating with the help of facial expressions.
Such people have the advantage of reading lips to enhance speech understanding.
What You Should Know About Masks
- Non-Medical Grade masks are recommended for use by the general public by Health Canada and most other governing authorities during a pandemic.
- There are differing regulations depending on your jurisdiction and it is your responsibility to regularly check with your own jurisdiction health unit’s current recommendations regarding the use of face masks.
- Face masks are not recommended for children under two years of age nor for those who cannot easily remove the mask by themselves. People with breathing difficulties need to consult with their doctor about the use of face masks.
- Face masks are not a substitute for practicing government or health unit recommendations for measures to stop the public spread of any virus.