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I keep reading that at least in the case of viruses humidifiers and warmer air can kill viruses, especially if you have sinusitis. I was thinking that if you wear a mask you would achieve both higher humidity and the warmer air. Could this be a good alternative or supplement to nasal vaporizers/inhalers? You don't generally use inhalers all day, but you could wear a mask almost all day.

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No, wearing a mask cannot help fight infection when sick.

A sick person can wear a face mask when around others only to help prevent the spread of flu. Wearing a face mask limits the spread of tiny infected drops that are released when a person talks, coughs or sneezes.

After all, the masks were originally designed to protect patients from the coughs and sneezes of a surgeon and not to help fight an infection.

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/06/22/416466284/will-a-surgical-mask-keep-you-safe-in-a-viral-outbreak

http://www.sfcdcp.org/fluill.html

  • Most of what I found online is basically what you're saying: a mask can sometimes be effective at preventing the spread of disease (whether worn by a sick person or otherwise). What I'm asking is not about transmission, but whether an already-sick person can him/herself benefit from the use of a mask to fight off the infection (especially a virus) since a mask provides humidity and warmth. – Nelson Rothermel Nov 29 '16 at 2:56
  • Okay, I'll see what I can do about that – Prince Nov 29 '16 at 6:17
  • Hopefully that answer will satisfy your question – Prince Nov 29 '16 at 6:35
  • So what's your basis for saying a mask cannot help fight an infection? If steam inhalation (whether from boiling water or a shower) or even a humidifier (especially warm air humidifier) can help, why would a mask not help? A mask provides warm, moist air all day long. It's not that I have made up my mind and am looking for confirmation; I'm just trying to understand what you're basing your statement on and if there are any studies that support it. Thanks! – Nelson Rothermel Nov 30 '16 at 17:58
  • Well, from all I've gathered, a mask was originally designed to protect against infection. I understand that mask could also serve as an humidifier and in the case of sinusitis, that could help. But some people react with what the mask is made of, so it's not all that advisable to use mask when having sinusitis, if you are not sure whether your sinuses would react with it or not – Prince Nov 30 '16 at 20:27

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