What to do if you feel dizzy while wearing a mask

In 2021, wearing a mask or face covering in enclosed spaces has become the norm. Nonetheless, as of July 19, the British government announced that it would no longer be mandatory to wear masks, but they "expected and recommended" that the public wear masks on public transportation and other places. Despite the rule change, businesses such as airlines and airports still require passengers to wear masks. However, wearing a mask can be uncomfortable, so it's understandable that some people might wonder what to do if wearing a mask makes you feel dizzy or short of breath.

While the weather may be getting cooler, making wearing a mask a little more comfortable than in hot weather, many people still find that masks can make them feel dizzy for extended periods of time. As dehydration expert Dr Hideki Taniguchi told the Financial Times in 2020: “[Wearing a mask] prevents cold air from coming in, which raises the temperature, especially above the neck; it keeps Humidity, so throats get dry and people forget to drink. ”

Still, for those who still want to wear masks in crowded settings, abandoning them entirely isn't an option. For those who can't get a medical exemption but find wearing a mask uncomfortable, there are ways to make their experience more manageable.

Choose breathable materials

Fortunately, it's relatively easy to buy a variety of face masks online or in stores these days. But if you're worried about whether wearing a mask is making you feel dizzy, it's worth checking what your mask is made of.

It's best to avoid synthetic fibers and choose a mask made of breathable fabric, such as 100% cotton. Nicole Jochym, a third-year medical student who works with the organization Sew Face Masks in Philadelphia, spoke about the topic in a 2020 interview with Insider . She recommends avoiding masks with filters because they are often made of synthetic materials that are less breathable.

For those suffering from breathing problems such as asthma, the advice from the charity Asthma UK is noteworthy. They don't recommend a specific mask, however, they do recommend that you try a few different types to find one that's comfortable.

For those who want to make their own masks, the UK government has published guidance on making and wearing face coverings. Additionally, Bustle has compiled a list of independent brands selling face masks in the UK to help you buy your face coverings responsibly.

make sure it fits

If wearing a mask makes you uncomfortable, you're not alone. Even doctors admit that they experience breathing difficulties after wearing it. Dr. Purvi Parikh, an expert in immunology and infectious diseases at New York University, told the Daily Mail last summer: “Wearing a mask that is too tight on the face can make it difficult for anyone to breathe. I’ve even seen this happen while treating patients. ".

To help, the World Health Organization recommends trying on a mask like you would a hat or glasses, and choosing one that fits your face and allows you to breathe easily.

The fit of your mask is not only important for being able to breathe easily. This is also critical to help prevent the spread of the virus. As the World Health Organization says: “If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t work”. Official advice is that masks should completely cover the nose and mouth, leaving no gaps. If you find that the elastic ear straps are too tight, try using a mask with adjustable straps.

Bring extra items if you have them

If you anticipate wearing your mask for an extended period of time (such as when traveling or at work), you may find it helpful to change your mask frequently. “Because cotton masks absorb sweat when worn, it’s important to have several clean masks on hand,” the Inquirer shared. Use safe mask removal techniques, change masks in private areas, and discard them safely. In line with government advice, always wash your hands when removing your mask.

Limit wearing time

In line with UK government advice, the public is still encouraged to wear masks on public transport, supermarkets, workplaces and other enclosed spaces. However, as the Inquirer explains, in some situations — like driving alone or walking outside — you don't need to wear a mask, and as long as you take health precautions and practice social distancing, you can Restrict the wearing of masks and keep visits to closed public spaces to a minimum.