(Medicine.net) — People with chronic lung disease may worry about being able to breathe freely with face masks, but they should wear the coverings if possible, four leading medical groups say.
“Individuals with normal lungs and even many individuals with underlying chronic lung disease should be able to wear a non-N95 facial covering without affecting their oxygen or carbon dioxide levels,” the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Lung Association, the American Thoracic Society and the COPD Foundation said in a statement released Thursday.
The groups acknowledged that some people with lung diseases might not be able to tolerate breathing with a mask and will seek a mask exemption from their doctor.
“However, the individual’s concerns should be weighed against societal needs to mitigate spread of the virus,” the groups noted. “In some instances, physician reassurance regarding the safety of the facial coverings may be all that is needed. Trying a variety of facial covering types may improve tolerability.” (…)