When it comes to COVID-19 there is still a lot of ambiguity, from unusual symptoms to the Government’s controversial advice on lockdown rules. Now asthmatics are facing a conundrum as leading health experts advise against wearing face masks. What is the best precaution for those suffering with asthma and reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread?
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Experts have issued advice for those who have asthma or another lung condition which is similar, saying that they should not wear a face mask if it makes it more difficult to breath.
The Government issued advice last week informing Britons they should wear face coverings where they can’t stay two metres away from other people.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said: “If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection.
“Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
“Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap water.
“If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.”
Now experts have warned that those suffering with asthma need to ignore this advice.
Asthma UK said: “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 the people with respiratory conditions don’t need to wear face coverings – so if you are finding it hard, then don’t wear one.”
For people who suffer with asthma wearing a mask can be particularly difficult.
This is due to the condition already making breathing not easy.
Immunology and infectious diseases specialists at New York University, Dr Purvi Parikh told the 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 breath.
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“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.”
How to manage asthma to reduce risk from coronavirus
Asthma UK advised: “When people with asthma get respiratory infections, it can set off their asthma symptoms.
“The best action you can take is to follow these simple asthma management steps:
Keep taking your preventer inhaler daily as prescribed. This will help cut your risk of an asthma attack being triggered by any respiratory virus, including coronavirus.
Carry your reliever inhaler with you every day, in case you feel your asthma symptoms flaring up
Start a peak flow diary
If you come down with a flu, a cold or any other respiratory infection, follow our tips for looking after your asthma
If you smoke, it’s vital to quit now as smoking will increase your risk from coronavirus.”
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