A filtering face mask will be your best friend this pollen season.

Spring is just around the corner and so is pollen season. Tree pollen is usually first to fill the air each year, from late March to May, and with it a concert of runny noses, constant sneezing, and itchy eyes.

According to the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, as many as 60 million people per year experience allergic rhinitis, also referred to as hay fever.

How do facemasks reduce allergies?

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, Ecomask can help.

“Masks that have filtration levels that can catch the small particles like pollen can help prevent against the inhalation of pollen. You just have to make sure that your mask is clean,” Dr. Elisabeth Ference, an ear, nose, and throat doctor at Keck Medicine of USC, told Healthline.

Here’s a run down on common allergen particles. Pollen particles range from 10 - 100 μm in size, fungal spores from 2 up to 50 μm, and house-dust mites feces from 10 to 40 μm. The size of these allergens is what makes it really difficult to escape from them.

Standard surgical masks filter particles larger than 3 μm and respirators can filter particles as small as 0.04 μm.

Ecomask is the optimal allergy mask, as it can filter out 95% of particles with sizes as small as 0,3 μm.

What does the data show?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started there has been a significant reduction in self-reported allergic rhinitis symptoms among nurses wearing face masks (N95 or surgical mask) and its because of this same reason. Allergen particles get filtered as well the virus!

A2020 study published in the fall found that nurses who wore face masks during COVID-19 reported fewer symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

“A lot of our pollen-allergic patients are actually doing very well because they tend to stay indoors, and when they’re going outdoors they’re wearing a mask. They’re doing avoidance measures, so they’re doing better,” Dr. Rita Kachru, an allergy specialist at UCLA Health in California, told Healthline.

In addition to reducing allergen exposure by wearing a face mask, the increased humidity and temperature of air breathed through a mask may also ease irritated sinuses.

"There has been a decrease in symptom severity with mask use,”Dr. Sayantani Sindher, a professor of allergy and immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, told Healthline.

Further research will help to delineate the contribution of face masks, in addition to common pharmacological and desensitization treatment strategies, in reducing allergic rhinitis symptoms by either direct or indirect pathophysiological mechanisms.

In times of COVID-19, facemasks have become normal but one of the unexpected benefits we may now experience of mask wearing is a reduction of allergic rhinitis symptoms related to dust, pollen and animal dander.

Are you worried about this upcoming pollen season? Let us help you with your allergies while you, in return, help save the environment and oceans with Ecomask!