Face Masks Don’t Lower Your Oxygen Levels

Some claims are steaming up over social media that donning a face mask is very unhealthy. It lowers oxygen levels, causes carbon dioxide intoxication, and weakens the immunity system. However, the truth is they’re not depriving people of needed oxygen.

According to a new study, “Masks may be unpleasant to wear, but they don’t lower your oxygen levels.” A few medical authorities, including the American Lung Association and the World Health Organization, have debunked this myth.

A test was done at McMaster University in Canada to set the notion out. In this test, 25 adults (average age: 76.5 years) were given portable pulse oximeters to measure their blood oxygen levels while wearing a face mask, as well as before and after. The investigators found nothing concerning like reduced oxygen levels or hypoxia and realized that wearing a mask is completely safe.

Another study was done by Dr. Noel Chan’s for the results. In this research, the volunteers were outfitted with three-layered, disposable, nonmedical face masks. They wore the mask during their regular daily routine or at rest. Their oxygen levels were monitored ( with the pulse oximeter) for an hour before wearing the mask, while wearing it for an hour, and an hour afterward. In the results, there was no sign of a reduction in blood oxygen levels.

Overall, there were no concerns with a decrease in blood oxygen saturation. On average, oxygen saturation was 96.1% before participants masked up, 96.5% while wearing the masks, and 96.3% afterward.

According to Chan’s study, “Wearing a mask is not dangerous.” However, he acknowledged that the study had some limitations, such as people with lung and heart diseases were not included in the study. Also, the participants involved in the study were not exerting themselves, so it’s not sure whether wearing a mask while working out will cause a dip in oxygen levels or not.

Glatt also mentioned that people can remove their masks if they’re going out for a run or walk, and no one is nearby. However, if they’re going to encounter the people in the park or somewhere else, ensure to wear a mask as it’s for their protection.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise for people

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises everyone to wear a mask (at least two layers of fabric to secure the mouth and nose) if they’re going out in public and maintain social distance to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

From Chan’s study, it’s clear that wearing a mask is completely safe and healthy. However, if you feel difficulty in breathing while wearing a mask, we recommend you to consult with your doctor immediately.

If you have questions about any personal health conditions and masks’ safety, do let the WiseRx discount card team know in the comment section!

Sources: Noel Chan, MBBS, department of medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Aaron Glatt, MD, chairman, department of medicine, Mount Sinai South Nassau, Oceanside, N.Y., clinical professor, medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, and spokesman, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Arlington, Va.; Journal of the American Medical Association, Oct. 30, 2020, online

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