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Physiological impact of prolonged use of surgical masks on dental students
Purpose: The aim of this study is to evaluate the subjective complaints that may be experienced by dentistry preclinical students (1st Class, 2nd Class, 3rd Class) who had to wear masks during their preclinical training during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: An online survey (1999–2021, SurveyMonkey) program was conducted to evaluate the subjective complaints of dental students due to the use of face masks during preclinical education. Participants scored subjective symptoms ranging from 0-100, including questions about headache, dizziness, nausea, visual impairment, shortness of breath, tachycardia, distraction, difficulty in communication, fatigue, breath odor, mask moisture, temperature, itching, acne, auricle discomfort and nose discomfort. Results: A total of 309 (115 males and 194 females) volunteer dentistry students between the ages of 19-26 were participated in the survey. Temperature, difficulty in communication, auricle discomfort and mask moisture complaints were found to be higher in all participants compared to other subjective symptoms, respectively. Headache, shortness of breath, tachycardia, temperature, acne and nose discomfort complaints were found to be significantly higher in women than in men. Distraction and breath odor complaints were found to be higher in men than in women. Conclusion: According to the results of this study, long-term use of face masks may cause an increase in subjective complaints.