Face masks: coping with allergies

Top tips for managing anxiety when wearing a mask when

you have allergies.

While face coverings are no longer mandatory, they do help prevent the spread of Covid-19 through sneezes and coughs. You may still feel more comfortable wearing a mask in closed environments such as on public transport and in shops.

Face coverings and allergies

If you suffer from allergies, wearing a mask can be a struggle. A face covering can be uncomfortable and cause anxiety if you have various allergies such as rhinitis (inflammation of the inside of your nose), blocked nose, asthma or itchy skin conditions.

Hay fever symptoms and face masks can also be a real pain. That’s because a blocked, stuffy nose means you’ll be breathing through your mouth. And a face covering can make you feel like you’re not getting enough air to breathe properly. (You are, by the way, don’t worry.)

Top tips for anxiety and face masks

If this sounds all too familiar to you, Allergy UK has some simple top tips to help us hay fever sufferers feel more comfortable while wearing a mask.

  1. Wear your face covering when it’s essential
    Wear a mask for short periods when there is most risk, such as on public transport and in shops.
  2. Practice wearing your face covering
    If face coverings make you anxious, get used to wearing one in a space where you feel comfortable such as your home or an open space. This familiarity may help ease the stress when allergic reactions hit while wearing your mask.
  3. Choose a face covering that works for you
    The material of your face covering can have a huge impact on how comfortable it is. If you can afford it, try different types of masks to find what suits you. For example, some people prefer ties to elastic loops around their ears.
  4. Reposition your face covering
    Practise putting the mask on and adjusting it until you feel comfortable, such as positioning it so that it doesn’t rub against your ears.

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