I have a hard time breathing in a mask. Do I have to wear it?

GEHA | October 1, 2021

COVID-19 Health And Wellness
Written by: Amy Priest, RN

Amy Priest is a Registered Nurse and Certified Case Manager with a combined 20 years’ experience of bedside nursing, home health nursing and case management. Amy has been with GEHA since 2010 and is currently a level III nurse consultant on the population health team supporting member outreach initiatives.

A) The discomfort some people feel when wearing a mask is due to the increased awareness of breathing when compared to breathing freely. Being aware of the mask can alter perceptions of breathlessness. However, there is no evidence that mask-wearing can alter oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. People with underlying lung or respiratory conditions should discuss mask wearing concerns with their health care providers.

For more information about how to select a mask, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html