CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Wearing a mask has become the new normal for the foreseeable future, but it can be difficult for some, such as those with respiratory issues and those outside in the heat.
Dr. Gary Cianci, a Physician at Roper St. Francis Express Care, said if you have a baseline lung disease such as COPD, asthma or are in a state where you have restricted air flow—you may want to consider a few things.
“You may take caution if you’re having a bad day with your lungs as far as your lung health. You may not want to go to places where there are a lot of people that have to wear a mask. You might want to remove yourself from the situation that mask wearing is encouraged.”
Even more, with masks being worn and the heat from outside, there’s an additional concern of a heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Dr. Cianci still advises that wearing a mask is best, but when you’re outside, you should know the signs to look for:
“Initially a lot of sweating, initially kind of feeling lethargic, or fatigued. Then, you start to get dizzy. You can start to get disoriented. If you see someone around you starting to stumble—starting to not make sense with what they’re saying, it’s important to try and recognize that and try to remove them from the heat.”
Mask or not, the first step in preventing a heat stroke or exhaustion is drinking water before and during heat exposure. Dr. Cianci also added that having cool towels and a fan to help with air movement or air flow adds to the prevention.
If you do choose to wear a mask, be sure you know how to remove it safely.