If you live in the South, allergy season may already be back to torture you thanks to a nightmarish level of cedar pollen in the air. If you don’t, relish the precious moments where you can still breathe without feeling like every bee, leaf, and flower is trying to end your life. Spring is coming fast, but you may be wondering if you’ll fend off some allergens since you’re wearing a mask these days. It’s gotta help with some of it, right?
Do masks actually help with cedar pollen allergies?
The good news is that masks absolutely do help with cedar pollen allergies, and studies have proved it. Doctors have noted that wearing a mask during outdoor activities has helped their patients’ allergy issues significantly. This can also decrease the amounts of pollen and pollutants that reach the nostrils and help avoid the severity of irritation.
Wearing a mask is also crucial for people with seasonal allergies because the condition causes many sufferers to sneeze more, meaning more droplets spraying in all directions. So it’s a win/win in all situations: stay safe, keep those around you safe, and suffer less. What’s not to like?
What type of mask will help my cedar pollen allergies most?
The rules here are pretty much the same as any mask you would buy to protect you from COVID-19: FDA-listed surgical masks are your best option. Gaiters are basically useless, and cloth masks are still a gamble unless you have the appropriate filter. Properly-made surgical masks are the next in line. Your top pick would be a N95, but those are often hard for regular consumers to find.
So what makes the FDA-listed surgical mask a better option than a cloth mask with a filter in it? Well, there’s a long and a short answer. Read the long one here if you like, or if you want the TL;DR, read on. The materials masks are made of have different filtration rates. Single cloth layers are close to useless. A cotton mask with three layers is better, but still not great until you add a filter. But FDA-listed surgical masks block up to 98%.
Where can I buy a FDA-listed surgical mask?
If you’re looking for masks made in America, Austin-based PPE manufacturer Armbrust American is a good place to start. Armbrust produces ASTM Level III-certified surgical masks that are rigorously tested and exceed all regulatory standards. The ASTM Level III rating is ideal for procedures that involve low to moderate amounts of fluid, spray, and/or aerosols. This makes these surgical masks one of the best options for everyday use. They come in seven colors as well, so you can still match your outfit while you rock maximum protection. Whether it’s COVID or cedar pollen coming your way, nothing’s getting past you!