One of the biggest criticisms people have when it comes to surgical masks is that they feel like it's harder to breathe. Thus, we decided to answer the question: Why do masks feel suffocating after wearing them for extended periods of time? And, why are surgical masks uncomfortable to wear?
Most of it actually is psychological. For the most part, recycling your own air for long periods of time is a new sensation, so it reads as uncomfortable in your brain. This is just part of the experience when wearing a high filtration mask that does its job.
But that begs another question: Is a mask that is more comfortable to wear less effective than one that isn’t? In all likelihood, yes. The exterior and interior layer of a well-made mask should deflect water to be an effective virus blocker. A cloth mask or neck gaiter may feel nicer than a surgical mask, but you’re only increasing the chance of exposure. Cloth absorbs moisture and “other things,” whereas a surgical mask deflects it.
The extra protection in a surgical mask is in fact static electricity. The charged particles in a surgical mask catch really small things such as COVID-19. However, static eventually fades, so you should be sure to always use a fresh mask.