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The Association between Face Mask Use and Headache: A Challenge in the New Normal Era

*Wira Dharma Utama orcid  -  Palembang Aviation Polytechnic, Indonesia
Erlina Purnamayani  -  RSUD Siti Fatimah Provinsi Sumatera Selatan, Indonesia

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Background: Indonesia has entered a new normal in the Covid-19 era and implemented strict health protocols in day-to-day activities. Transportation sectors, including air transportation, have been allowed to continue their services as long as they follow the health protocols, such as the mandatory use of face masks. Unfortunately, face masks now deal with several negative health issues, e.g., headache.

Objective: To observe the association between face mask use and headache among airport officers and the average degree of the headache experience.

Methods: The study was conducted at the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II (SMB II) International Airport in Palembang. The data were collected by a questionnaire gathered from December 2020 to January 2021. The data were processed using a quantitative approach with analytical methods.

Results: From 207 airport officers, the major characteristics were female (57.9%), indoor workplaces (78.3%), face masks use ≤ 4 (four) hours per day (58.9%), and no headaches while using face masks (70.1%). There was a significant relationship between headache and face masks used > 4 hours per day (p < 0.001; 95% CI = 6.201 {3.215-11.958}). The mean of headaches degree using the VAS score was 2.3 (scale 0 - 10).

Conclusion: Headaches could result from wearing facemasks for more than 4 hours per day. The mean degree of headaches due to facemasks used was relatively mild. The present research suggests that face masks must not cause other health problems. Improvement in face masks is the key to facing the Covid-19 pandemic and as important as washing hands and physical distancing.

Keywords: Face mask; Headache; VAS Score

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Keywords: Face mask; Headache; VAS Score.
Funding: Palembang Aviation Polytechnic

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