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Hayfever and how your mask reduces symptoms

Ritz Aguspina | October 10, 2023
Hayfever and how your mask reduces symptoms

The season dreaded by Australia’s 3.3 million hay fever sufferers may highlight an added benefit of donning a PPE mask.

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, occurs when a person’s eyes, nose or throat are exposed to environmental allergens. With 2020 seeing increased dry winds create a breeding ground for grass and weed pollens to thrive, a rise in hay fever symptoms amongst the Australian population seemed inevitable. However, as the threat of COVID19 continues into Spring, sufferers are reporting a decrease in symptoms as a result of their use of mandatory face masks.

The use of masks is not new in the fight against hay fever, with the recommendation being common whilst engaging in gardening, lawn mowing, and similar outdoor activities, as they prevent air pollutants and allergens from entering the mouth and nose. However, the increase in the use of PPE since the onset of COVID19 has brought to light just how valuable this piece of personal protective equipment can be to prevent sneezing and irritation in the nose and throat. The success of masks to prevent a reaction in hay fever sufferers is thanks to the large particle size of pollen, and its inability to penetrate through the material of a surgical mask.

A surgical mask is fifty per cent more effective in preventing pollen particles from reaching the nose and throat than cotton facial coverings. 3M masks are most effective against particulates, capturing over ninety-nine per cent of pollen exposed to the wearer. In fact, a 3M mask is, for some users, more effective than using over the counter antihistamine tablets to combat their symptoms.

Additionally, as the spread of COVID19 is predominantly through coughing or sneezing - both of which are common symptoms in hay fever patients - wearing a mask is vital for sufferers to avoid unknowingly spreading the infection should they be asymptomatic, but experiencing hay fever.

Wearing your personal protective equipment is important to minimise the spread of COVID19, but it seems that surgical face masks in particular have additional benefits. For the one in five Australian’s who suffer from hay fever, this will come as a welcome relief as we step into Spring.

Our BIOFIL Surgical Masks are a great way to combat Hayfever. Stay protected this Hayfever season.