Sometimes I look like a masked bandit

In an effort to not repeat last summer, I’ve been really trying to up my game this year and be more proactive.  A couple months ago I was looking into face masks and was told they’re kind of pointless because they don’t seal to your face.  My concern at the time was a plane ride for work.  If the air quality, allergens, irritants or somebody reeking of smoke doesn’t bother me, the cabin not pressurized properly will.  Now that allergy seasons are in full swing, I need a little help some days when the pollen counts are approaching 12 out of 12.

For $14 I picked up one of these on Amazon.  They’re reusable, washable, not too hot, adjustable, and easy to store in a pocket.

Yeah, so the picture makes it look like a bean bag chair or maybe a guinea pig hiding under a piece of material.  It actually covers my face quite nicely and my beard does a good job filling in the gaps where it doesn’t “seal” to my face.  There’s a bendable, metal piece you can shape to your nose.  It doesn’t do a great job by itself, but the mask in conjunction with my sunglasses works great.  Oh, and my glasses don’t fog up from my breathing.

Some people ignore it and many look like idiots staring at me.  One day I was driving and put it on at a stoplight.  Some guy in a car next to me became quite concerned.  I think he’s seen too many mob movies where hits are made at stoplights.  Some student at work the other day was staring at me with his mouth hanging open and open walked into a pole.  I eyeballed him for 5 seconds and then loudly declared, “HEY YOUR MOUTH IS HANGING OPEN.”  One positive is I can yell at drivers with it on and no one sees my mouth moving.

The good news is for $14 I notice a distinct difference on high pollen days, and that can be all it takes for me to feel miserable or feel not so bad.  Last year there were some issues at work with construction dust and this would probably make a big difference if I needed to wear it inside.  I’m not sure how often you should wash it or how long until it needs to be replaced, but for now I’m pretty pleased with it after three or four weeks of use.

  • Merrily Mccarthy

    In 1944 I was born clear and clean of Asthma. I grew up with a consicous early knowledge that my Mother had a severe breathing and lung problem: she was a chronic Asthmatic. My brother was allergic and asthmatic, however he was 4 years older than me. My dear Mother passed on our kitchen floor of a grand asthma seizure in 1994. Before she passed however, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in 1969, She had a milk allergy and would pass out and be literally unconsicous for 48 hours at a stretch. She developed asthma after she gave birth to her first child and then her second child. The first child is a boy who was born with chronic lung disease or severe asthma and has suffered all his life with breathing difficulty. I have taken care of him and helped him live his life as comfortably as possibly, however as we both realize, with asthma, activity is greatly limited and so is learning. The second child also had mild asthma, mostly emotionally induced, however she has moved on and seems to be less effected. My grandson, my daughters first child is now 22 and disabling breathing difficulties. His mother, my daughter is suffering more now with her own breathing ability. She recently had a baby boy, and he seems to be showing signs of “baby asthma.” I am 70 years old now and still do not have asthma. In 1992 I passed out from smoking one Cambridge Light Cigarette. That same day was my last cigarette. I have not smoked in 22 years. I wanted to live the remainder of my life healthy and help to save my grandson from breathing difficulties because asthma apparently is our family illness. If you have any suggestion for us or new information or encouragement please write and let us know. Merrily McCarthy P.O. Box 176, Yosemite, Calif. 95389. Thankyou.

    • Merrily – thanks for sharing your story. I’m not a medical professional so I don’t really have anything concrete to suggest other than try to find a good primary care physician, and possibly seek the advice of an allergist and/or pulmonologist who can assist with the control and management. Good luck and breathe well.