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Dr Anshila Mk

Does prolonged wearing of a facemask cause harm?

18 July 2020

Wearing a mask is one of the best and most effective way to prevent the spread of current pandemic. Masks work by filtering and suppressing air particles. If someone’s infected but doesn’t have symptoms, what’s known as asymptomatic, the particles from the mouth, nose and back of the throat come out when they breathe and spread out within about 6 feet. The mask stops some particles from spreading freely and pushes some air down instead of out.

But there are myths about masks flood social media that:

1.wearing mask will lower oxygen level or cause carbon dioxide poisoning

2.Prolonged use of mask can develop bacterial infection from moist, sweaty masks or weaken their immune system’ ability to fight off colds.

3.Patients present with  asthma, COPD,and other lung diseases might experience breathing difficulty.

So all these misconceptions have clarified by different health care professionals. A doctor in South Carolina challenged the idea that “oxygen levels drop dramatically while wearing a mask.” Dr. Megan Hall tested her oxygen saturation and heart rate using a pulse oximeter in four situations for five minutes at a time: one without a mask, one with a surgical mask, one with a N95 mask and one with a N95 and surgical mask. But There is no significant change in my oxygen saturation (or HR) in any scenario. May inconvenient for some but she says still can breathe.

The vast majority of the people with true underlying lung disease are going to wear a mask because they know if they get exposed to this virus, they're at very higher risk for serious complications,  “Sometimes when they’re in a mask it can be a little difficult (to breathe).  Prolonged use of any face mask, including the N95 respirator, has not been shown to cause carbon dioxide toxicity or lack of adequate oxygen in healthy people. For some persons with severe chronic lung disease, wearing a mask may make breathing more difficult, but not because of CO2 retention. Recall, there are health care workers who routinely wear masks for prolonged periods as part of usual care (such as when performing surgery) and adverse effects from this practice have not been reported. Masks reduce the number of microorganisms that someone releases into the air. So, the more people wear masks in an area, the fewer potential viral droplets go into the space, and the less risk that someone will be exposed to the virus. (study conducted by Vanderbilt University medical center).

While wearing masks during warm weather might cause it to become damp with sweat, that shouldn’t cause any bacterial infections. “If it’s in the hot humid air of the summer, yes, it can get sweaty and yucky. If you have a cloth mask, you wash it. If you’re wearing a surgical mask you have to use a new one.”Wearing a mask intermittently throughout the day or even all day long is not going to weaken your immune system.

There are psychological reasons;like Masks are awkward. But the virus doesn’t care about culture wars and it doesn’t care about your freedom “Wearing a mask is about being a human being, about caring about your fellow human beings and respecting all human beings. Coronavirus is happy to infect everyone, it’s not just about the protection but it can prevent transmission  too.So wear mask and stay safe.

It will be great, if you share your view on above write-up. 

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