Mask Up...For Asthma?
At this point in the pandemic, I think it is safe to say many of us are fatigued with what we might still have to do to protect ourselves and others. Wearing a mask has been a large proponent of these public health measures, but besides providing a benefit against COVID, I have found many other uses for these handy little face coverings as a person with asthma.
Wearing a mask for my asthma
Avoiding outdoor triggers.
Living in the Ohio Valley, my environment is riddled with all sorts of allergens. One day it might be pollen, the next day ragweed, and the following your neighbor's grass clippings. Through it all, I have found masks to be beneficial in allowing me to avoid some of these triggers when I'm outside of the (not so great) indoors. Steering clear of allergens is only one of the perks to masking; cigarette smoke, another big trigger for many, can be avoided as well. Both my asthma and my nostrils are appreciative.
For years, I was not able to clean my bathroom on my own (sorry, Mom!) thanks to the close quarters and highly concentrated chemicals. The two coupled together would almost definitely cause incessant coughing and a resulting sore throat. Besides finding a cleaner that is much gentler on my respiratory system, I have begun to use a mask as well when I need to get rid of the grime. Covering my mouth and nose has made it much easier to keep things clean without stressing out my lungs...or my family.
Keeping other illnesses at bay.
I can honestly say since we started masking at the beginning of the pandemic that I have not caught a single cold. As someone who babysits part-time, I consider that something of a miracle. Now I know many others have not been as fortunate with avoiding both other viruses and COVID and that masks are not 100% effective, but in general, I have seen the benefit of masking during the cold and flu season both in my own experience and in my household by avoiding all sorts of gnarly viruses.
Escaping indoor triggers.
In addition to helping avoid outdoor triggers such as allergens and cigarette smoke, let's not forget about perfume, shall we? I love a good fragrance as much as anyone, but my asthma doesn't exactly share the same sentiments. Masks in school the past two years have been the only way I narrowly avoided an asthma attack or coughing fit while walking past all the highly scented body spray wafting through the hallways.
Talking to myself.
Though not isolated to the experience of a person with asthma, sometimes you just need to have a good conversation with you and yourself.
Masks for multiple reasons
All jokes aside, I am a big advocate for masks as being applicable in numerous situations. At this point, I do not know what I will do when I have to start smiling with my whole face for pictures instead of just my eyes or quit getting immersed in my own personal dialogue. It's a wild world out there, both for people with asthma and everybody under the sun, but I believe we have to look for the silver linings in all sorts of circumstances.
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