We all wear face masks for several weeks to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus as the pandemic rages.
But social media is exploding with claims that masks reduce oxygen intake, forcing people to inhale high levels of their own carbon dioxide.
People claim that they feel light-headed or dizzy and that inhaling a lot of carbon dioxide can lead to seizures or even suffocation.
But a New York pediatrician, Dr. Rebekah Diamond from Columbia University Medical Center, says this is simply not true.
In her experiment, she shared a photo of her carbon dioxide levels after a day wearing an N95, showing that the mask was not driving her CO2 to dangerous levels.
DailyMail.com spoke to two respiratory experts who clearly said there is no evidence that long-term use of face masks will lower oxygen levels in the blood – or kill you.
Dr. Rebekah Diamond from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City took a picture of her blood CO2 after wearing an N95 all day
Normal PCO2 levels are between 35 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and 45 mmHg, and Diamond’s levels were 36.4 mmHg
The pediatrician said she wants to fight the wrong information that is spreading about how long-term use of face masks is dangerous
Apparently, worrying about hypercapnea (too much carbon dioxide) by wearing a breathable fabric mask is something, Diamond wrote on Twitter.
Normal PCO2 levels are between 35 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and 45 mmHg.
Diamond took a blood test that showed the amount of gas in her body. Her CO2 content was 36.4 mmHg.
So here is my normal venous CO2 after wearing an N95 all day to remind you it’s really good. Don’t let fake science make unsafe decisions possible [please]she wrote.
Then she posted a photo of herself outside the hospital working with both an N95 mask and face shield.
Enough reasons to hate masks. Don’t let false claims be one of them, so thank you for going through that! Diamond tweeted.
“This is what I wear and it certainly makes me feel light-headed, leaves marks on my face, irritated skin, and even causes a headache. We do what we have to do. ‘
Several posts have been circulating on social media claiming that wearing a face mask can cause such an accumulation of carbon dioxide that causes people to pass out – or worse.
A Facebook post on May 8 claims that “oxygen in the blood decreases” and “oxygen to the brain decreases” by wearing masks for too long.
Another message about ‘long-term use of a face mask’ can lead to hypoxia, that is, when there are low oxygen levels in the tissues that can lead to death
Several reports online claim that long-term use of face masks can reduce oxygen in the blood or lead to hypoxia, which is when there is low oxygen in the tissues
Dr. Steve Lubinsky, the medical director of respiratory care at New York University Langone Health, told DailyMail.com that there is no danger in using face masks.
‘[Masks are] not comfortable and there is data showing that they can cause headaches, they are irritating and interfere with everyday life, “he said.
“I think people have that kind of feeling. These are common symptoms we all get and I think people have focused on that. ‘
Dr. Raed Dweik, president of the Cleveland Clinic’s Respiratory Institute, says he also thinks it’s a social problem.
“People want to see the face, which is understandable for normal circumstances,” he told DailyMail.com.
“But at a time when health is adrift, it’s important to do that [wear masks] for us and for each other. ‘
There are rare cases when carbon dioxide, a natural by-product of respiration, can kill.
Inhaling high concentrations of gas can lead to hypercapnia, also known as carbon dioxide toxicity, and can cause headaches, double vision, lack of concentration or suffocation – but it must be a very high CO2 concentration.
“We have seen that there is a significant risk of illness and death in New York in patients receiving COVID-19, we have seen people get sick, become seriously ill and die,” said Lubinksy.
“We’ve never seen anyone with a disease because of the use of face masks.”
Both doctors say that wearing face masks should be accompanied by social distance and good hand hygiene, such as washing your hands and trying not to touch your face.
“Aside from universal testing, it is best to cover each other’s face, nose and mouth and emphasize that this is not a substitute for other important things like social distance and washing hands,” Dweik said.
“When you wear it, you protect others and when others wear it, they protect you. It is almost a selfish act not to wear a mask in public. ‘