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Nugget of Knowledge: Wearing a mask

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Wearing a mask might feel like your airflow is reduced, but it isn't

(WYTV) – Have you heard that wearing a mask for a long period of time can decrease your oxygen intake and breathe in too much carbon dioxide as you exhale?

Don’t worry about that, here’s what’s going on.

Both the loose-fitting surgical masks and cloth masks are porous. Air can move through the material, but it’s more difficult for a respiratory droplet to pass through, so masks can be an effective obstacle for infectious germs.

Wearing a mask might feel like your airflow is reduced, but it isn’t. All they do is cause an obstruction.

You may have the sensation of having to breathe harder or that you’re breathing in less air, but your oxygen level is not affected.

What about too much carbon dioxide to your bloodstream?

The fear here is that a mask can trap your exhaled breath and you keep re-breathing what you’re exhaling.

However, while you can breathe in some CO2, it’s not enough to be a health risk.

If you wear a mask for a long time, you might come down with a headache, but that’s it.

Carbon dioxide molecules freely pass through the mask. There’s a normal gas exchange while you’re breathing.

If you have a lung issue, talk to your doctor. Masks are not recommended for anyone under the age of two.

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