As we have said several times, the China virus particles are microscopic compared to the gaps in cloth fabric and pass through them without hindrance — but the masks may reduce exposure to allergic reactions from pollen; and Spring is not far away.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis (itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, sneezing) are caused by inhaling triggering allergens like tree and grass pollen.

“Anything that reduces your exposure to airborne allergens, such as masks, will reduce your allergy symptoms by blocking exposure to the agent you are allergic to,” says Dr. David Corry, professor of medicine in the section of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

Corry explains that wearing masks for allergy symptoms have been advised even before the pandemic, such as using them while mowing the lawn if you are allergic to grass. “Masks have been recommended for many years to protect against exposure to airborne allergens and other harmful substances.”

When it comes to using masks to help with allergies, Corry recommends wearing a clean mask to avoid breathing in extra bacteria. Make sure it fits you properly so that the mask can block against the vast majority of allergen particles. 

“Reusing old masks is not recommended because bacteria and fungi can grow in a dirty mask,” Corry says. “Inhaling bacteria, fungi and their waste products can definitely worsen allergies.”