How to breathe better while wearing your protective mask?
As we move away from hot summer days, the discomfort of wearing a mask may be decreased as we move into cooler weather. We all know the benefits of wearing a mask and its crucial role in helping to stop the spread of viruses, but sometimes, we all need a reminder to keep at it. This is your reminder- wear a mask and save lives!
(Art created jointly by Ângela Oyafuso and Suzy Sakano, who made the illustrations, under the guidance of Eunice Liu)
We are now months into the pandemic, and most of us have been wearing our masks to stay safe when required. However, there still come times when it feels like you can’t breathe properly inside your face mask which makes you want to remove them. Why is that? In previous blog posts, we have already explained that masks don’t compromise your oxygen intake. However, masks can disrupt your normal breathing patterns, which is the leading reason for people to feel dizzy or out of breath when wearing a face mask. The solution: breathe better.
Easier said than done. Most of us aren’t used to wearing face masks- having a piece of fabric so close to your face can easily change the way we inhale and exhale. Even the most breathable masks like our Medura 3-layer disposable mask that maximizes breathability, can cause abnormal breathing and cause one to breathe either too quickly or too slowly. But the good news is, abnormal breathing patterns can easily be corrected once you notice it.
Remind yourself that the protective mask you’re wearing doesn’t affect oxygen from entering your body and the CO2 from leaving, and try to resume your normal breathing pattern. If you have a difficult time doing so, there are lots of breathing exercises like the box-breathing technique you can practice. Visual aids like the GIF posted below can be helpful sometimes.
Other than practicing breathing normally when wearing a mask, we have some more tips to ease the discomfort of wearing a mask.
Tips on wearing a mask
- Take a break: When you’re out running a full day of errands, wearing a mask for a prolonged period may feel intolerable. We recommend taking a break from wearing your mask when it’s safe to do so. Find a corner where there are no other people, and take off your mask. It makes a huge difference, trust us.
- Only wear your mask when it’s necessary: The purpose of wearing a mask is to protect others and yourself from respiratory sprays. When there’s no one around, there’s no point in having your mask on. For example, take your mask off when you’re driving alone or with members of your household.
- Choose a breathable mask: choose masks that are made for breathability like the Medura 3-layer filtration mask. But don’t compromise on quality- paper-thin masks are not effective! Choose a lab-tested multi-layered mask that has a high percentage of bacteria and particle filtration efficiency.
- Lower the intensity of physical activities: get used to the new normal. Give yourself more time to bike or walk to work so lower exertion. Or choose to do your morning jog in a quiet area so you can go mask-less.
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