Specialist Allays Fear on Face Masks Causing Hypoxia

One of the measures recommended by Health experts in containing the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19 is the use of face masks.

In fact, many states as well as the Federal government has made its use compulsory in public places.

Many people have come up with different designs and styles of face masks aside the N95 respirators and surgical masks to protect themselves.

The information making the rounds on social media, that prolonged use of face masks could lead to hypoxia is however generating concern among the people.

This they believe could discourage the use of face masks thereby causing exposure to the dreadful disease.

Speaking on the authenticity or otherwise of this information, Radio Nigeria spoke with an anaesthetist at the University College Hospital, UCH lbadan, Dr Babatunde Osinaike.

He explained that hypoxia, a condition where not enough oxygen makes it to the cells and tissues in the body could only occur when people put on something that completely prevent air from entering and coming out of the airways.

The likelihood of anyone becoming hypoxic is very slim with the face masks we are using and the risk of you accumulating carbon dioxide that will make you drowsy or dizzy is also very low.

Furthermore, Dr Osinaike said

“ln the theatre we have our face masks on for as many hours as the surgery is on and there is no problem with anybody”

On the suggestion that people lift the mask every ten minutes, he said this could really be dangerous in a place where people were prone to the risk of inhaling droplets from an infected person.

On his part, a public health expert, Dr Adekunle Adekola who identified the various types of masks in use to include the N95 respirators, the surgical and cloth masks said their functionality and efficiency depend on proper usage

“Let’s also note that people could react to things in different ways, so whichever one you are wearing, ensure to watch your bodies’ reaction to it and as such you could also discuss this with your medical doctor”.

The fact remains however that when people put on face masks air still find a way through into the nostrils.

Anthonia Akanji.

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