Face masks can be hot, irritate the skin, and fog glasses. So, are clear plastic face shields a better option? Some health experts say yes… shields are very effective at preventing infection - maybe even more effective than masks - for people going about their daily activities.
Dr. Amesh Adalja is a pandemic preparedness expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. He says, shields are definitely better than homemade face masks, and maybe even better than other types of masks as well, because they not only prevent you from spreading viral droplets, people touch them less, and they also cover your eyes. And although experts aren't sure about how vulnerable our eyes are to a coronavirus infection, the eyes are important when it comes to other viruses.
And a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that face shields were shown to reduce immediate viral exposure by 96% when worn within 18 inches of a person coughing.
That’s why some schools are planning to have faculty and students wear shields instead of masks. Plus, they’re better for face-to-face interactions.
But for the most protection, especially if you’ll be somewhere where you can’t practice social distancing, wear a face mask AND a shield.