How to Wear a Mask for Covid-19 When you have Allergies, Sinuses, and Asthma

By: Kelly Warf, Au.D. , Alexander Goldin, M.D.

Masks; our new normal to decrease the viral spread of COVID-19. While this has been an adjustment for everyone, those with allergies, sinuses, and asthma have experienced greater difficulty breathing while wearing a mask. But the answer is not to forgo a mask, especially as those with asthma and respiratory problems are considered a high-risk group for COVID-19. Instead, we’ve provided the following ideas to easily and safely wear a mask.

Wear a cloth mask

Unless you are a healthcare worker, then you probably don’t need the N95 or full-filtering mask. These can be too restrictive to those with asthma, which may lead to an asthma attack. Instead, find a cloth mask that is comfortable and effective in reducing the viral spread.

Clean your mask daily

Cleaning your mask daily can prevent further allergy, sinus infection, or asthma reactions as the mask can collect dust and pollen particles, as well as bacteria from daily use and exposure to COVID-19. Daily cleaning should be conducted with hot water and high heat for drying.

Don’t wear your mask longer than necessary

Wearing a mask is important and most useful when in an enclosed space around other people where social distancing isn’t possible or where local government and health departments mandate.

Don’t go outside if there is a high pollen count or humidity

Check your local weather source for updated pollen count or high humidity as these can make it difficult to breathe outside while wearing a mask. Ideally, plan to spend the day inside and keep the windows closed.

Continuing taking prescribed medication to control your condition

Do not let your allergies, sinuses, or asthma get uncontrolled; this only makes your symptoms worse which can increase your risk of severe complications for those who contract COVID-19. Follow the treatment plan discussed with your doctor and if you experience difficulty breathing or a change in your symptoms, call our office to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment.

If you have any concerns about your allergies, sinuses, or asthma schedule your appointment today with one of our ENT specialists. We are offering both in-person and telehealth appointments at 2 locations. Call to learn more or schedule your appointment today. Call (847)685-1000

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