Wearing a mask and its impact on well-being
When you breathe into a mask, the gases that are inhaled mostly remain trapped inside the mask and cannot properly escape.
This of course allows us to avoid the transmission of saliva droplets and thus the transmission of bacteria and microbes.
However, the inhaled air is then not completely renewed with each inspiration as is usually the case and we continue to breathe "recycled" air. Without this renewal of fresh air, we breathe hot air that does not cool properly. The mask therefore obstructs the arrival of fresh air to the lungs resulting in an accumulation of heat inside the body and without regular hydration, it increases the risk of dehydration .
Wearing a mask is thus accompanied by an increase in the temperature of the skin and the air , the face being more sensitive to heat than other parts of the body (significant vascularization and innervation). Indeed, wearing a mask was associated, in the OpinionWay study for Climson, with a feeling of thermal discomfort , characterized by an increase in humidity and perspiration inside the mask, favoring the dehydration of the person wearing it.
Note that people who already suffer from breathing disorders will suffer the most from difficulties with wearing a mask (COPD, pneumopathy, etc.) since wearing a mask will hinder the proper ventilation of the body. It is therefore necessary to remember to change it often (about every four hours) so that it continues to filter well while allowing a certain renewal of the air.
Hydration plays a key role in regulating body temperature.
Indeed, when you wear a mask for prolonged periods, it is important to make sure that you drink plenty of fluids, for example taking a moment every hour to hydrate well and drink at least 1.5 L per day.
To maximize hydration, it's best to avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids like coffee or tea that contain caffeine, as well as carbonated drinks.
It is also not recommended to perform vigorous physical exercises while wearing the mask and it is important to increase the rest time . Refreshing the forehead and neck may be useful, because the face contains many nerve fibers that are more sensitive to temperature variations than the rest of the body.
It is also preferable to avoid putting on a mask that is too thick, or in a material that retains too much heat. It is better to favor a cotton mask or a surgical mask. Finally, it is necessary to learn to recognize the signs of dehydration :
- extreme thirst
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Infrequent and/or dark urine
- Dizziness, confusion and headaches