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Endwell doctor says masks may cause breathing difficulties for some

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(WBNG) -- Medical conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma already cause trouble with breathing. When wearing a mask, some with those conditions say its even more difficult to breathe.

Doctors say COPD causes air to get trapped in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe, and can cause wheezing. When wearing a mask, it can slightly inhibit your ability to breathe. If it's blocking your breathing completely, doctors say your mask may be too tight on your face.

"Although they might be difficult for anybody to breathe through, it's really about protecting other people," said Dr. Lazarus Gehring with Endwell Family Physicians.

New York State has mandated everyone wears face coverings in public, so where does that leave people with COPD? Doctors say there are a few options for face coverings that may be easier to breathe through.

"The surgical loop masks are thin. You can't make them at home very readily. Some of them tie in the back in two places, and sometimes leaving the bottom ones loose, it still protects others against the cough," said Dr. Gehring.

In general, if you do have one of these health conditions, doctors strongly suggest staying indoors as much as possible to reduce your own exposure to COVID-19. If you do have to go out in public, doctors say when everyone wears a mask, we are all working to protect each other.

Katie Jones

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