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Is Face Shield Better than a Face Mask to Prevent Coronavirus?

Using face masks is one of the preventive measures that could save from coronavirus. But not everyone likes wearing a mask; either it is uncomfortable or unbearable for them. Alternatively, they can use a face shield that doesn’t even feel on the face. But the real question here is; is face shield better than a face mask?

The plastic shields are helpful in preventing coronavirus and there is a huge number of people who find them better than face masks. Dr. Amesh Adalja, from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, confirms the effectiveness of face shields for coronavirus infection.

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These face shields use either a clear plastic shield or they use a Plexiglas in them which usually covers the complete facial area of the user. It includes forehead to chin and this face shield is attached with a headband to hold it. as it doesn’t cause a burden on face or ears people find face shield better than a face mask.

The latest editorial publication from the Journal of the American Medical Association says that face shields are 96% helpful to prevent coronavirus up to 18 inches radius. However, it is 92% effective when it is worn in 6 feet radius, as prescribed by the social distancing guidelines.

For such high efficacy, face shields might replace the face masks soon as there is plenty of evidence to support their benefits.

But the problem with face shields is that they don’t get a high promotion or popularity as that of face masks. Still, using a face shield is better than a face mask in terms of reducing risk. Right now these face shields are available online, made by different companies.

Even with all these benefits, there are some drawbacks to using the face shields.  These face shields cover the entire face as some viruses could enter through the eyes as well. But it doesn’t let the user enjoy any fresh air on his face, as the face is already covered with the shield. Still, many people prefer to use a shield as they find face shield better than a face mask for its ease.

On the other side, communication with other people is better when a person is using a face shield and not a face mask. One common problem that many people experience is that they have to take off their mask while talking to others as the voice sounds muffled with the mask. Also, there is no way to see the facial expressions of the person that you are talking to if he is wearing a mask. On the contrary, communication is better when a person uses a face shield.

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Both shields and masks are lightweight but face shields are more comfortable than masks. Unlike masks, facial shields are reusable without requiring anything extra. All that it needs is an antibacterial solution or a wipe to clean it.

It is necessary to clean the face shield before using it every time. Despite that face shields are better than face masks, they are not disposable. It is necessary to clean it every now and then so that the virus doesn’t live on its surface anymore.

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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