5 Respiratory Hygiene Habits That Help Prevent Viral Infections


Everyone is concerned about germs. The social isolation that we face right now is geared at making sure that people stop spreading this viral infection. However, there are times when you must go to the bank, grocery store, or the doctor’s office. When you make these essential trips out, you must practice respiratory hygiene.

How can you be safe when you are around minuscule germs that invade your airways and can be deadly? Here is a list of dos and don’ts from the experts that you should follow.
The Dos of Respiratory Hygiene

The Center for Disease Control or CDC issued many guidelines on how a person can stay safe. While there is no foolproof method, there are ways that you can reduce the spread of germs and deadly bacteria. The following methods should be observed for proper respiratory hygiene.

respiratory hygiene

  1. Always Wear a Facial Mask

There is much confusion about who should wear a facial mask. A person who is sick or has seasonal allergies will sneeze and cough a lot. These people should always wear a mask when they are out and about or even at home for proper respiratory hygiene.

As far as the others who are not sick, it’s always advisable to wear something to cover your mouth and nose when around those who are sick. Remember, it can’t hurt. Though many people have been so thoughtful and made masks due to the shortage, these might not provide adequate protection.

Doctors use N95 quality masks to avoid germs entering and to provide proper respiration.

But if you do use a homemade variety, remove it by the loops and launder it before the next use. Wash your hands after you remove it.

Also, if you are using a disposable mask, don a new one for each use. These are not reusable, and your germs and bacteria get trapped in the fibers.

  1. Throw Away Tissues After Each Use

You probably have boxes of tissues sitting around during this high allergy and cold season. When you use facial tissues, you must throw them away promptly. Don’t set them on an end table or other surface to spread germs.

Toss them in the closest trash can, and make sure they make it into the receptacle. You don’t want to infect anyone that may pick them up on your behalf. If you are into cost-cutting measures and want to use a handkerchief, resist the urge as your respiratory hygiene depends on it.

A handkerchief seems like an economical option, but you will spread the germs all-around your home until it’s appropriately laundered. Do you want to infect your family should your condition be bacterial based rather than viral?

  1. Always Sneeze and Cough into Your Elbow

You’ve probably heard that you should cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. The theory behind this is that microscopic droplets from your nasal cavity and mouth spread into the air and surfaces nearby. These droplets are infected with bacteria that you harbor inside your body.

While putting your hand over your mouth seems like the logical choice, it’s better to cough into your elbow. The elbow is a larger surface and doesn’t have tiny gaps like the fingers. You have a better chance of containing your mist when you lodge your elbow firmly around your mouth.
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