“How to wear a mask in temperatures above 30 Degrees Celsius without choking?” read a report on the website of Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia on July 10. Coverage:
Disaster sets in when the temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius and masks have to be worn. Although this summer there is an added discomfort because of this factor, there is a better way to tolerate it. Using the right fabric or good breathing techniques can make an unbearable experience more acceptable.
Qualified masks have passed air permeability tests. This means that the air passing through the mask cloth is sufficient for the body to maintain its function.
Because of the availability of surgical masks and their impact on the environment, hygienic and reusable masks are recommended. Some of the dozens of fabrics that have been used to make masks can make people feel breathless. The experts’ first recommendation is to choose materials that pass the leak test.
Many masks have a filter layer in the lining, which actually makes breathing easier without it. “Increasing the number of layers can improve the filtration efficiency, but you have to make sure you breathe better,” said Rafael Eluso, professor of preventive medicine and public health at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He noted that double-layer cotton masks block only 18 percent of the particles, while four-layer cotton masks block only 19 percent, making breathing more difficult.
Experts at the university point out that the fabric with the best filtering effect is double-layer quilted cotton or double-layer thick fine linen. Flannel in the inner layer and cotton in the outer layer are also good (filtration capacity is 70%-80%).
“It is best not to wear masks with safety valves,” said Jose Antonio Lopez Guerrero, a professor in the department of molecular biology at the Autonomous University of Madrid. “They are filters that prevent you from becoming infected, but also allow you to expel your particles and even viruses while breathing normally.”
To improve breathability while wearing a mask, take care to keep your breathing steady. Just walking faster, the body needs more oxygen, which makes breathing heavier and more frequent. However, it is not advisable to increase your breathing rate while wearing a mask. “People should not wear masks while exercising because it reduces breathing comfort,” the WORLD Health Organization advises.
Wearing a mask is uncomfortable, especially if the body starts to sweat or the moisture makes breathing difficult. Psychologist Christina May Wood said: “We need to adjust to a reality that is beyond our control. If we complain all day long, all we get is a sense of anger, which can lead to nausea. All these emotions, along with anxiety, produce a physiological response that increases the heart rate and breathing rate. If this happened when we were wearing masks, we would be even more nervous.”
May Wood suggests focusing on other details, such as what to do over the weekend or talking to friends on the phone. She also recommends belly breathing, which is used in activities like meditation, Pilates and yoga.