I can't breathe while wearing a mask. Why?

I don't have a heart disease or a lung disease, and I do have a pulse oximeter. Without the mask, my SpO² is 100, BPM is 67 to 69, PI% is 14.xx to 15.xx.

With my N95 on, SpO² stays at 100, PI% stays at 14.xx to 15.xx, but BPM shoots up to 90s, max i saw was 93, & i feel like I'm running out of breath.

Pretty weird. The N95 doesn't reduce blood Oxygen one bit, yet somehow it triggers a crazy increase in heart rate, & makes me feel like a respiratory disease patient.

It's illegal to leave home without a mask. What do I do? And what's causing this? Why am i feeling so uncomfortable & breathless, even when SpO² is at 100?

4 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    The problem is in your HEAD, not your mask. It's psychosomatic-- a reaction due to anxiety or claustrophobia.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    First, it's psychological most likely. Second, the N95 has the medical type which filters incoming air and a construction type which is not to be used with a valve that exhausts your air. If it exhausts your air, it loses it's primary purpose to stop your water droplets that could be infected from leaving the mask. Also, N95's are meant for medical professionals as not cheap to dispose and not easy to re-sanitize.

    The Covid-19 is out of control under Trump, probably because people won't wear the masks when they should and they want to gather and congregate. 

    The first question is Are You In A High Risk Group? If in a high risk group, what causes you to be out all the time?

    If medical, the N95 is what it is.

    You can get several basic 3 layer washable cloth masks.

    They don't really constrain inhaling at all.

    They do increase chance of infection, but fairly consistently the infections are asymptomatic. I also bought a box of 50 disposables at a 99 cent store for $6. 

    If you want the increased chance of infection, but highly likely as asymptomatic, and not in a medical higher risk environment, get cloth or cheap disposables.

    They shield other people. Keep social distance when you can. Avoid gatherings. Turn off your psycho-fear. There's nothing wrong with masks. People have worn them in Asia full-time for years just to reduce pollution and spread of disease in high density environments.

    Wearing a mask does not increase your heart rate.

    YOU are increasing your heart rate when you wear the mask.

    Do your part. Complain about anyone in stores or close quarters not wearing a mask. Let's get through this already!  

  • 2 months ago

    Its all mental, like a panic attack, not physiologically mediated as you arent out of oxygen as you see.  Try some calming exercises when you feel like this. N95 masks are really uncomfortable-I have to wear one- but see if you use other masks if an N95 isnt really necessary.

  • 2 months ago

    A lot of very technical information there! I really don't understand any of that, but of course everyone is different. I was diagnosed with asthma 5 years ago, since then I have managed it very well, I can sometimes go for nearly a year without using a ventolin puffer but if my condition worsens I may need the puffer several times each day. I noticed after just a few hours of wearing a mask my breathing was becoming very restricted and the feeling of tightness across my chest becoming unbearable and I could not breathe without the puffer. Since then I have to avoid areas where masks are necessary, its not that difficult really, I dont really go to pubs, restaurants or concerts so I just hang out and chill with other people who dont wear masks and enjoy the many forms of indoor entertainment.

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