People with lung conditions should NOT wear face masks if it makes it hard to breathe, experts caution as hot air and tight fit can trigger symptoms

People who have asthma or other lung conditions should not wear a face mask if it makes it difficult for them to breathe, experts say.
The British Government is now advising people to wear face coverings if they are out in places where it is difficult to stay at least two metres (6'6") away from others.
This is because the coronavirus is a respiratory virus, meaning it infects people when it is breathed in and attaches to cells inside the airways and the lungs. 
But people who have asthma or illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cystic fibrosis may find masks or face coverings make it hard for them to breathe.
Masks can make it more difficult to draw air into the lungs, may trigger asthma for some patients and can also cause anxiety which changes people's breathing patterns. 
The patients are in a catch-22, however, because they are also at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they do catch the virus, and may be more likely to spread it when they're infectious. 
Experts say people should wear a mask if they comfortably can, to protect themselves and others around them, but not risk their own health in the process.
Mask-wearing in certain situations in public is now mandatory in many countries in Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia (Pictured: Three staff members put on masks as they prepare to return to work at a bar in Berlin)
Mask-wearing in certain situations in public is now mandatory in many countries in Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia (Pictured: Three staff members put on masks as they prepare to return to work at a bar in Berlin)
In its official guidance, Britain's Cabinet Office now says: 'If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example, on public transport or in some shops.'
But it adds: 'Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.'
Respiratory conditions are illness that interfere with someone's breathing such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema or lung cancer. 

Wearing a mask, experts say, can make it harder to draw air into the lungs and make symptoms of those conditions worse.
Asthma UK says: 'For some people with asthma, wearing a face covering might not be easy. It could make it feel harder to breathe. 
'The government has advised that people with respiratory conditions don’t need to wear face coverings, so if you are finding it hard, then don’t wear one.'  
Dr Purvi Parikh, an immunology and infectious disease specialist at New York University, said people with lung conditions, those with skin abnormalities on their face or neck, or children or people with dementia may not be able to wear masks regularly.
Those with breathing problems may find they worsen because of the mouth and nose covering, she said.
Dr Parikh told MailOnline: 'Those with lung conditions are in a catch-22 because they probably need the mask more than the average person but it can be challenging to breathe.
'A tight mask on your face can make anyone have trouble breathing. I even get it when I'm treating my patients.
'We're approaching summer-time so it's hot outside, and when you're consistently breathing hot air on top of your own breath that can be quite uncomfortable.
The British Government has published a how-to guide to help people make face coverings out of t-shirts to protect themselves from the coronavirus
Officials say people should wear masks unless they have a breathing conditions which makes it particularly uncomfortable to do so
The British Government has published a how-to guide to help people make face coverings out of t-shirts to protect themselves from the coronavirus

'It's uncomfortable to breathe hot air because we're used to being in a temperate environment. For some asthmatics warm air is a trigger and can cause asthma attacks, so for them it's unfortunately a perfect storm.'
Dr Parikh said there is no evidence to suggest that the general public would use masks heavy duty enough - or wear them for long enough - that they would start to feel the effects of breathing back in carbon dioxide that they had just breathed out.
She said medical grade masks are not necessary for normal people to wear and should be reserved for medical professionals.
This lines up with the CDC's advice, which is for people to make their own face covering out of cloth rather than buying special ones.
The British Government, too, urges people to wear 'face coverings' rather than masks. 
These may include scarves, bandanas, cloths, or it has even published a how-to guide for making a basic mask out of an old t-shirt. 
Health Minister Jo Churchill said: 'We are advising people to consider wearing a face covering if they can in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is impossible, for example on public transport or in shops. 
'This may help prevent you spreading the virus to others. 
'You do not need a clinical mask which is prioritised for our healthcare workers. Instead a face covering is sufficient and we encourage people to make these at home with items they will already own.'
Countries around the world now require people to wear masks while in public to stop them spreading the disease.
While the practice was already widespread in East Asia, it has now spread to Western Europe and Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and last week France have required people to wear them in certain situations by law.
In the US it is not necessary but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people to wear a face covering of some sort while in public. 
Although the scientific consensus is that a mask or face covering will not protect someone from the virus, it may stop them spouting virus-infected droplets into the air for people around them to breathe in.
This may be especially true for people with lung conditions which make them cough, sneeze or breathe more heavily than usual, Dr Parikh said.
The coronavirus spreads in droplets, which means they piggy-back on the water that people breathe out normally - that causes condensation when you breathe on a window.
A cough or sneeze can spread the virus considerably further than just breathing.
Dr Parikh added: '[Vulnerable] people should absolutely wear masks if they can. Not only will it protect them but people with asthma or COPD may actually spread more of the virus because they're coughing, sneezing and breathing harder than other people.'
People with lung conditions should NOT wear face masks if it makes it hard to breathe, experts caution as hot air and tight fit can trigger symptoms People with lung conditions should NOT wear face masks if it makes it hard to breathe, experts caution as hot air and tight fit can trigger symptoms Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:02 Rating: 5

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