There are two types of masks commonly mentioned in media coverage, the surgical mask, and the N95 mask. NEITHER mask is recommended for the prevention of respiratory infections. Furthermore, the N95 mask can be tough for people with COPD to use, and in some patients, prolonged use of the N95 mask can cause more shortness of breath, lower blood oxygen saturation and higher exhaled carbon dioxide levels.
Both types of masks are currently in short supply and health officials are urging the public to refrain from buying supplies of masks that are critical for the healthcare workers taking care of infectious diseases of all types to access. If you would like to discuss your questions about masks further, we encourage you to reach out directly to your healthcare professional team as they will be best suited to evaluate your unique circumstances.
If you are sick, wearing a facemask when you are around other people or entering a healthcare provider’s office will help protect the people around you.