The pandemic may be hushing down, but for just about everyone at the moment, masks have become a common fixture. And after the situation is behind us, when they're out, many people will always want to wear masks.
The problem is, not everyone is allowed to wear a mask. In persons with a respiratory disorder or anxiety, often masks may feel painful and create complications.
"Wearing a mask can still affect your breathing, just not in the way you might think" - Dr. Christopher Ewing (Lung Specialist, Alberta, Canada)
"Most of us are not used to wearing face masks, and the feeling that you have a face mask can make others nervous or uncomfortable," Ewing says. Although much of our breathing is unconscious and controlled by our breathing core, the mind can still affect it. "It will affect the way we breathe as we experience pain, even subconsciously." For example, if we exhale and it causes our glasses to fog up, by not exhaling completely on our next breath, we might compensate for the pain.
MASKS AND ASTHMA, COPD
Usually, asthma sufferers have reasons that set off symptoms and make breathing more difficult. Cold and dry air affects certain individuals, which is not a concern when wearing a mask. Masks appear to keep these individuals in warmer, damp air, which would make it easier to breathe. In fact, some masks are specially intended to help preserve humidity and temperature and can make life more comfortable for those suffering from this form of asthma.
On the other hand, many asthmatics have the complete opposite effect; their asthma is set off by warm, moister weather. This can make it uncomfortable or even risky to wear a mask, considering the social disapproval and limitations imposed on people who do not wear masks in these demanding times
Another illness caused by limited airflow due to inflammation is COPD. In addition to temperature and humidity, irritants such as smoke , dust, and chemicals can set off COPD patients. Since shops and other public venues are extra vigilant in washing and sanitizing their surroundings, attacks may be set off by leftover chemicals in the air.
There are some things you can do if you have asthma, COPD, or other respiratory issues caused by wearing a mask.
Using a mask that is less restrictive. If you're ill, masks are usually intended to shield others from you, not actually to shield you from others. You would not require a stringent N95 or full-filtering mask unless you are in a healthcare or other vital position where the chance of contamination is exceedingly high. While being less likely to set off an asthma attack, a thinner fabric mask that is equally safe, more breathable and cooler may provide some protection.
Limit the time spent wearing a mask. For starters, when commuting to and from a shop, or when you're out for a walk in an open and relatively empty room, you don't necessarily need to wear a mask. Masks are only really effective when you are around other individuals in confined environments and where social distancing is not feasible.
Try practicing in a safe place, at home. Some people think that not wearing the mask, but adapting to the mask, is the problem. You will be able to adapt to wearing a mask and be more relaxed wearing it for longer stretches if you put the mask on at home and practice breathing for a couple of minutes at a time.
Of course, in the event you have an emergency at an inopportune time , make sure you have whatever inhalers and other drugs you need on hand.
MASKS AND ALLERGIES
Allergies are another problem that can come about while wearing a mask. There is a respiratory aspect in several allergies, irritated by dust, pet dander, and pollen. Plants come to life as the country heads into spring and summer, gardens bloom, animals lose their winter coats, and allergies kick into high gear.
It's a difficult problem, because, on the one hand, if you still have difficulty in breathing because of allergies, wearing a mask and further limiting ventilation will make it even harder to breathe and drive things from "uncomfortable" to "impossible." Wearing a mask, on the other hand, is one of the safest ways to keep out environmental allergy causes.
The remedy here is to take precautions before you need to wear a mask to prevent an allergy outbreak, and wear a mask in a manner that protects you rather than limits you.
Be sure you take the drugs for allergies that you usually take. Over the years, antihistamines have been produced and are graded by "generation," typically sedating (like Benadryl) for the first generation. It would be much more effective to take second or third-generation antihistamines like Zyrtec or Allegra, or other prescription third-gen antihistamines.
Use breathable and disposable masks. As you wear them, masks can build particulate matter and when it is dusty, it can be hard to breathe into it. Wearing a mask that is disposable and convenient can help to avoid this situation.
You will also want to have a weather app for your smartphone that covers your immediate area's measurements of air quality and pollen count. You will mitigate the effect of allergies on your lungs if you stop going out when the air quality is terrible for you.
Try choosing a mask made from a more breathable material than the regular face mask, regardless of the possible respiratory difficulties. Many such masks are made of hard materials which limit ventilation with filters through narrow holes, making it more difficult to get the high amount of airflow you need. Therefore, having a mask that is easy to wear, cooler, disposable, convenient and most importantly more breathable can be the solution to your concerns.