Can prolonged use of a face mask cause hypoxia? That’s what Dr. Dennis Castro is warning everyone!
Find out if it’s true that you can faint from hypoxia after wearing a face mask for a long time!
Claim : Prolonged Use of Face Mask Causes Hypoxia!
This warning by Dr. Dennis Castro was apparently posted on Vanguard Nigeria (which we will NOT share), and has been widely shared on WhatsApp and Facebook :
Now, let us tell you why you need not worry about hypoxia from prolonged use of a face mask.
Prolonged Use of Face Mask Causes Hypoxia : The Facts
We have no idea who Dr. Dennis A Castro B is, but the advice is generally FALSE, and here are the facts.
Fact #1 : Face Masks Are Porous
Fact #2 : Face Masks Are Loose Fitting
All types of face masks – surgical masks, pitta masks or home-made cloth masks – are also loose fitting, and do not fit closely to your face. Air “leaks” through gaps all around the edges.
That’s why they do poorly against air pollution, and unlike N95 respirators, cannot be used for “airborne precautions“. That is the same reason why you can’t get hypoxic even if you wear them for hours.
Fact #3 : Face Masks Are Designed For Long Hours Of Use
Face masks are not designed for any specific period of time of use, but tight-fitting N95 respirators are designed for 8 hours of continuous / intermittent use.
Fact #4 : There Is Very Little Space In A Face Mask
When properly worn, face masks have very little space for stale air to accumulate.
When you breathe out, the face mask may puff out a little – that’s all the stale air you’ll take in with the next breath. The rest gets out through the filter, or the gaps around the face mask.
That is why people who have panic attacks use a paper bag to trap their exhaled air, which they rebreathe to increase their carbon dioxide intake.
Fact #5 : Most Civilians Won’t Wear Face Masks For Long Hours
Unless you are a healthcare worker, or work in very dusty workplaces, you are unlikely to wear face masks for long hours.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks are used only when we go out in public. There is no need to wear face masks at home, or in your personal vehicle.
Fact #6 : You May Get A Headache / Feel Uncomfortable
Now, the carbon dioxide will build up with extended use, but most people will tolerate and not notice it.
Those who are sensitive to the increase in carbon dioxide may get a headache or feel uncomfortable. Certainly, they will be motivated to remove the face mask long before they develop hypoxia and lose consciousness.
Interestingly, a study looked into this issue and found that the biggest problem was headache, and even that was for healthcare workers who had to wear N95 respirators for long hours during the SARS epidemic.
Fact #7 : You Should NOT Touch Your Face Mask!
Now, it is BAD ADVICE to lift your face mask every 10 minutes to “get some fresh air”.
Once you put on your face mask and go out in public, you should consider it (and your hands) contaminated. At no point should you touch the front of your face mask, much less lift it up over and over again.
If you follow that bad advice to keep lifting your face mask every 10 minutes, you could contaminate yourself in the process.
Recommended : The RIGHT WAY To Wear + Remove A Face Mask!
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