Do you suffer from floppy ear? (mask fit)

So these days the experts are recommending wearing two masks, or fastening the mask loops together with twist ties once it’s on your face for a tighter fit.

So I’ve started wearing a cloth mask over a surgical type mask to the grocery store, but having two loops over each ear causes my ears to constantly threaten to fold inward, or actually fold, and let go of the masks. I also used to have a pretty tight fitting cloth mask that wouldn’t stay on because of this.

Anyone else have this problem, or do I just have particularly floppy ears?

No way am I strapping on 2 masks but I know you’re not alone. I see a good percentage of the people doing the extra knot on the ear strap being constantly close to a slip over.

You can buy headstrap accessories that cinch the ear straps at the back of your head. Vogmask sells one.

Masks are primarily intended to stop the wearer from infecting others. They work when everyone wears them. If you’re worried about protecting yourself from COVID infection invest in onion goggles or similar eye protection.

They look similar to glasses and provide eye good protection. It’s what most of the ER docs wear at the hospital I work at.

Are eyes considered a particularly worrisome infection gateway? Not that I’m aware of. What the OP should do is buy some N95 masks and learn how to properly wear them rather Mcgiver up a two mask set up.

I’m not that worried, but when I first heard of the double mask thing I thought, I have a pack of surgical masks I just bought, and I have a cloth mask, and they are both black so it’s not super obvious I’m wearing two. So I gave it a try. And it works out pretty well, other than the ear thing. When I inhale I can feel the inner mask being sucked to my face so I know it’s a pretty airtight fit.

Hey, no less an authority than the esteemed Dr. Fauci recommended the cloth-type mask over the surgical style mask. And it’s what I had on hand. Also, MacGyver is my middle name.

I started out wearing an N95 mask at the start of all this, but I don’t like masks with straps that go behind my head. I tend to wear a ball cap when I go out in public to cover my unruly hair, and it’s easier taking an ear-loop mask on and off with a hat on.

Honestly guys, it’s not THAT bad of a problem, and I’m really not looking for alternate PPE solutions, I really was just wondering if I had particularly floppy ears compared to most.

Yes, I have floppy ears too. I find the ear-loops incredibly annoying, and feel like they’re threatening to drag off all the time.

That’s why when I made my own cloth masks I modified them so they loop all the way round my head. Much more comfortable and secure

Yeah, I don’t like the loops behind my ears, and they sometimes threaten to fold my ears forward, and can make the earpieces on my glasses dig in. So I use masks that have straps that go around my head, either by design, or that I’ve modified to do so.

And yes, when I tried out two earloop masks, it did fully fold my ears forward.

This is a good idea. Speaking of MacGyver, I could probably MacGyver up something like that- a short, stretchy cord with little hooks at each end. Time to raid the junk drawer…

Mine aren’t floppy, but they are small. Like every once in a while, someone will notice how small they are and everyone in the room has to come look and then goes, “Oh my gosh, they really are!” So two ear loops plus glasses is a lot for them to hold.

When I was last in the hospital, most of the female employees had cloth headbands with buttons on the sides for the mask loops. I’ve considered getting or making a few of those. I don’t usually wear cloth headbands because they slide back off my head, but if the buttons/ear loops are holding them on from the front, maybe that will balance it out.

Yeah, he said it was common sense. Masks involve fluid dynamics. It was a rather infuriating comment.

My main answer is what I already said: I have definitely seen lots of ears struggling with tight mask fits. My instincts tell me it’s more about anchoring on the closer part of the ear. Perhaps Gorilla Glue could help. :sob:

If two masks really were better, then masks would be made less permeable to begin with. Most likely, though, a less-permeable mask will just result in more air flow around the edges.

I don’t think it’s about changing the permeability, I think the idea is that the cloth mask helps to clamp the surgical mask against your face.

Early in the pandemic, before I bought some tight-fitting masks, I was putting a loop of nylon hose over my surgical mask, based on a study I read that said that doing so made it nearly as good as an N95. The point wasn’t additional “filtering” from the nylon hose, but that it clamped the edges of the surgical mask against my face, so I had to breath through it, and not around it.

Anyway, maybe my ears are just really rigid, but I’ve never had an issue with anything slipping off my ears. I don’t find stuff behind my ears especially uncomfortable, either. In fact, I get my glasses modified to loop behind my ears so they stay on more firmly. When the optometrist gave me a freebie thing that was designed to hold on glasses, but obviously worked to hold a mask on without putting stress on your ears, i gave it to my daughter.

@Chronos, yes, it is hard to get a tight fit with a disposable-style mask, no matter how well-constructed and impermeable. That was the reasoning Fauci presented for the double masks- the outer cloth mask helps to seal up the aitflow on the edges. Complete with slo-mo camera sputum tests to show double masks had the least sputum breaching! (Not sure if “sputum breaching” is an actual phrase that anybody’s ever actually said. But maybe it should be!).

I can anecdotally say it seems to work…I can tell inhaling, it’s pulling the mask closer to my face, so not much air coming in from the sides.

Another option to get a really good seal on a single surgical mask is to use a mask brace. This is made to create a seal on a surgical mask that makes it comparable to a properly fitted N95. They’ve actually done the research to back it up.

I made one myself from their earlier free pattern, and it seemed to work well. I just didn’t wind up buying many surgical masks, so I haven’t really used it.

That’s about a billion times better suggestion. However, I call bullshit on making it comparable to an N95. I’ve been bleating this for a while but N95 have electrostatic fabric that are complete game changers for filtering.

Surgical masks also have an electrostatic charge. It’s the same fabric.

Facemasks – challenges during pandemics – The Nonwovens Institute.

The “tube cut from a nylon stocking” worked really well, too, but it was fussy to put it on. Maybe i should give this a try.

It looks like there’s still a free DIY template on their site. The ones they sell are a little more complicated, and I haven’t tried those.