Wearing a Mask Does not Cause Breathing Difficulties in Asthma Patients

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A new study conducted by scientists at the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (UH Rainbow) looked at the impact of wearing a mask on the heart rate and oxygen intake of people and concluded that it does not cause any breathing difficulties.

To reach this conclusion, the transcutaneous carbon dioxide tension, heart rate, and oxygen levels of fifty participants between the ages of thirty to thirty-three were examined without a mask as well as while they wore a surgical mask or a cloth mask.

Each one of the participants had to complete an assigned activity such as brisk walking in six intervals of ten minutes. Around thirty-two percent of the people also had an underlying health condition including asthma.

Typically, asthma patients are among the very few who can develop complications from wearing ill-fitted masks. However, they are also at a higher risk of contracting and developing severe coronavirus infection, which is why healthcare providers advise them to wear masks properly when going to public spaces.

In the recent investigation, the researchers found that asthma patients may not be at risk of breathing difficulties as previously assumed. In fact, none of the studied participants developed any kind of complications due to wearing a mask for coronavirus prevention.

Also Read: New Survey Shows Fewer People Are Now Afraid of Contracting the Coronavirus Infection

The oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the participants remained stable during both rest and exercise. Steven L. Shein, who is the leading researcher and the Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital stated that the findings show breathing complications due to wearing masks are highly unlikely to be a risk in people.

Discomfort and breathing impairment caused by wearing both surgical and cloth masks has been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. A very large portion of the population still thinks wearing a mask can impact their breathing.

As a result, there is still resistance against mask mandates in the US and a number of other countries around the world. Even though coronavirus vaccines are now being developed and administered to people, health experts still emphasize the importance of wearing a mask when going outdoors.

At the moment, there is a very high risk of having another wave of coronavirus especially due to the spread of new strains. Reports on the new strains have associated their transmission with higher hospital admissions and an increased mortality rate in hospitalized patients.

Read more about wearing a mask properly here.

Therefore, experts have warned of a potential ‘coronavirus storm’ in the next few weeks. To keep this from happening, wearing a mask is fundamental along with following all other recommended coronavirus precautions.

It should also be noted that this applies to people who have been vaccinated as well as they may still be able to transmit the virus to others. Additionally, some vaccinations including the AstraZeneca vaccine have been found to not be as effective against certain new variants of the coronavirus.

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Abeera I. Kazmi

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