Blinkin Face Masks: Just wondering what... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
45,419 members53,341 posts

Blinkin Face Masks


Just wondering what everyone is feeling about them, to me not happy to have breathing more restricted. It seems this maybe the new norm quite worried. feel this is going to be the new norm.

73 Replies

I had to wear one yesterday to have my scan found it really did restrict my breathing. 😊 Bernadette xx xx 🌈

soul-123 in reply to Damon1864

Sorry to hear that so far I have not had to use one ,I did in the nhs when I could work feeling very alien now X

It does sort of ruin any concept of "pause" with shielding. It destroys any sense of freedom from house arrest to become a "ball and chainer". Especially in the warmer weather, it does feel rather stifling. Perhaps not too bad when not active.

If they become mandatory in the shops, then there will be a great temptation to keep removing them outside and putting them back on again, thus increasing the risk over touching them constantly. Then comes the issue of staying hydrated, because of the amount of water we constantly need to drink, more mask removal.

I think that many of us will not be going out very often, even if we want to. It will just be too much hassle over the masks. I feel this will become a major point of discussion at the end of the month, if we don't get a second wave by then, putting any "pause" on pause.

soul-123 in reply to 2greys

Yes I agree with you feel its not going to happen for us shielded missing so many people mainly grandchildren and children and hugs.

soul-123 in reply to 2greys

So sad x

I think face masks are mandatory in shops in Scotland. ☹️

My state requires mask in closed spaces. I have been doing this all along.

They are from Friday the 10th July in Scotland but if you have breathing difficulties you are exempt.

I struggle to breathe when wearing a mask so I bought a face shield. I had to go to A&E last week and the doctor who treated me said that as someone with COPD that I was better off with a shield.

glenninindy in reply to Pantani

I really don't think the plastic shield will protect me as good. I just heard that the particles are even smaller than they thought they were. I ride on public transportation, am high risk, 66, and have copd. I cannot take those masks either. I feel that it is only a matter of time before it gets me as I do not have the priviledge of owning an automobile or knowing anyone who can drive me or deliver things to me. poor me

In my town a lot of local volunteers from churches, the council and help groups are doing shopping & errands for shielded & vulnerable people. Just ask.

I’ve just bought the shield as I wear a bipap nasal mask and couldn’t wear a normal mask over that. Hoping that when I do eventually get to go out that it gives me some protection.

Greenthorn in reply to Pantani

That's very interesting Pantani and makes a lot of sense to me. I was in a hospital yesterday talking to a nurse who had re-piped me hearing aids, and I instinctively pulled down the mask to speak more clearly to her!

Tree20862 in reply to Pantani

Yes, a good alternative!

They're terrific and I applaud those making them compulsory in certain settings (buses, indoor businesses, etc.). They are great for protecting others from the potentially deadly covid-19 virus (not so much the wearer, though).

That said, I believe 'face shields' should be a recognized alternative for those with any breathing issues (I've both face masks and a clear plastic face shield from my pharmacy [ugh! $10 Cdn ($11.20 with taxesw), for something that's surely made for maybe $1 so ought to be sold retail for more like $2-$3] imo -- the latter's far more comfortable and I can't imagine wearing a mask if I had any notable breathing issue).

I agree with Pantani, I am thinking of getting a Face Shield, for indoor and outdoor use, if I every manage to get out. There is a lovely picture in my paper today, of a gent in Sydney, at a Rugby League match, with an Aussie straw hat and full Face Shield.

UK working in a doctors’ surgery here. Hate them - they make my chest so tired fighting to get air in. But they are necessary considering the unthinkable alternatives.

ETA: fabric masks for shopping are much easier to breathe through.

Hello soul-123 , 😀

I'm afraid and hate to say face masks everywhere is the new norm. I was at the hospital yesterday and wore one for three hours straight. In the air conditioning it was tolerable, but once outside in the muggy rain I was finding it pretty uncomfortable. My daughter who has perfectly good lungs even complains about feeling stifled. 😑 I have decided to carry on living despite Covid , taking precautions and not doing anything outlandish to hurt myself or others. But I figured I can't spend the rest of my life living indoors or afraid. I shall just have to adjust accordingly. Less than half of lung transplant patients survive the wait for a transplant, eighty percent make it to a year post, fifty percent make it to five years. I plan to make it to ten 😁 but there's no guarantees. I think I'd rather live than just exist. So I will persevere with the face masks as much as I can and LIVE.

Cas xx 🙋🐕💓

I agree. I’ve said to my family that I would see what happens the next couple of weeks then I’m going to venture out, if no more lockdowns. I feel like you I want some kind of life not just to exist.

Yes, Grandmatojack . Unfortunately, this virus is going to stay with us. So to a certain extent we have to adapt ourselves. 😑I hope you can do a cautious venture out soon. Just remain distanced from others . xx 🌞🌿

Greenthorn in reply to Caspiana

I agree Cas, as I said above to Pandini, yesterday I instinctively pulled my mask down to speak to a nurse. Those cheaper masks sit pretty closely to the face, inhibiting decent conversation. I think being out in the fresh air and not wearing one is very liberating. One can always hold a newspaper in front of your nose and mouth when passing people in the street! I'm not trying to be flippant but I think we should accentuate the positives and not become so anxious that our health suffers from depression.

Caspiana in reply to Greenthorn

I agree Greenthorn . I don't want Covid to be my every other thought. I certainly don't want it to dictate my life to extremes. I can't control it anyway, so I will go about my life with care and caution. xx 😊🌞🍀

Izb1 in reply to Caspiana

Thats a great positive attitude Caspiana and feel much the same, although I hate wearing them its something we all have to get used to and we cant stay in forever. And I am sure you will celebrate your 10 year anniversary x

Caspiana in reply to Izb1

Hahaha, I would be a very lucky woman if I get to ten years Irene. xx 😊🌞

Izb1 in reply to Caspiana

We will both be dodgering around then x

Hi Hun.

Before this Corona Virus, I have always Worn a Mask when Visiting The Hospital or GP, as they are the most Disease transmitted places. I had Bought Disposable Masks from Amazon (3 Boxes ) about 3 years ago. I Learnt to Use my Cannula with a Mask, though my Glasses did steam up. Came in very Handy for Hubby during this Epidemic as he is my carer and does the Shopping. When I can go out again after 1st of August from Shielding, I shall wear my Mask(s) with a 100 % sense of self preservation. Good Luck. C. XXX

James48 in reply to Hacienda

How did that work Haceienda? Did you make holes in the mask for the cannula?


Hacienda in reply to James48

Try yourself James, where's there's a Will. Doing it before the Virus. When I contracted Pneumonia in Hospital.

James48 in reply to Hacienda

Thanks C. I was thinking if one was to fly in the future with an oxygen concentrator and compulsory facemasks are worn, cannula holes would be needed. Experiment as you say

Hacienda in reply to James48

I only use Masks when I have my Ambulatory Mobile 02 when I have been to my GP & Hospital. I do not use with my Concentrator which is Static at Home. Stray Safe. x

James48 in reply to Hacienda

Thank you and you too :)

I thought I had read that those with respiratory issues are exempt from wearing face masks, is this the case?

Trishe in reply to Jozey

I thought that too, as we are breathing in Co2 when wearing one, I feel my chest getting tighter when wearing one and increasingly breathless.

Caspiana in reply to Jozey

Yes, but many still choose to wear then despite the difficulty. 👍

Rowan1488 in reply to Jozey

I am exempt from wearing a mask/face covering on public transport ie buses, I really tried but felt like i was suffocating, so applied for an exemption card, and I feel so much better x

Jozey in reply to Rowan1488

I didn't realise you could get an exemption card. I did wonder how you could let people know you were exempt.

Rowan1488 in reply to Jozey

I went on the buses website which for me was morebus , its called helping hand and I ticked off breathing problems ,they sent me a card, you can also print it off from their website. I believe majority of bus companies have this scheme in the Uk, hope this helps, I

I have tried a few masks but I can only wear the medical type mask. Here is a link to a short video on youtube where a nurse explains how to fit and use the mask to make breathing a lot easier. I hope it helps some of you out.

B0xermad in reply to Doddery

Brilliant, I have just tried this and its definitely a better fit

Iris30 in reply to Doddery

Thank you so much for this video. I forwarded to my daughter as she works for the NHS and must wear a mask. Her lungs are good but must wear one to protect patients. She found wearing a mask uncomfortable. Breathing is easier and is a better fit. 💖 I’ll give it a go too. Thanks

Izb1 in reply to Doddery

Thanks for this Doddery, what a simple solution, great idea x

Aureum in reply to Doddery

Thankyou for sharing

I can tolerate wearing a medical one (although I’ve just worn one when the nurse came to take bloods yesterday and I was sitting down all the time so it might be different if I have to walk around), I have asthma with small airways disease. But I found it really difficult to wear the two layer cotton one I had sewn myself. I found it made my chest tighten up and took several minutes for me to feel normal again when I took it off and I had only worn it for a couple of minutes. I was quite surprised as I didn’t think I would have trouble. I do have a couple of boxes of medical ones. I’m shielding and I’m my husband’s carer so was given some PPE for me to wear when doing my caring duties once my husband and children started leaving the house and going places. I probably won’t need them for that now as shielding will probably end before school starts, so will probably use some of them if I have to go somewhere where I’ll need to wear a mask (I’m in Scotland) but I need to keep some in case someone in my household comes down with the virus. I feel like I’ll be coming out of shielding only to find that I can’t go anywhere anyway if I can’t tolerate a mask.

Government guidlines state certain groups do not need to wear them so I reckon use own discretion.

This is copied from a Government page.

'Everyone who can must wear a face covering when using public transport to help protect against the spread of coronavirus.

Some people are exempt for this rule, including:

➡️ young children

➡️ people with breathing difficulties

➡️ people living with a disability


have created images to print out or download to your phone in case you have to show you, or your child, have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face mask (more info on exemptions from wearing a face mask here:

soul-123 in reply to James48

Thank you for the info

James48 in reply to soul-123

Further to my post, I've just seen this about face masks and it's worth a read;


scot_tosh in reply to James48

I would not listen to Peter Hitchen.

James48 in reply to scot_tosh

He talks sense sometimes but is also very self opinionated.

I think with any issue you get different sides, so I think it's a good thing to listen to all sides to help form an opinion.

scot_tosh in reply to James48

I agree with the self opinionated,but i also find him him nasty and downright dangerous.

Each to their own, I shall wear a Mask even though exempt. After 127 days Isolation & Shielding, I'm not taking chances. Stay well all of you. C. xxx

Better safe than sorry, its better to protect yourself if you can. Sure I read somewhere you don't have to mask up if you have a illness that makes breathing difficult. I'm going to be wearing one been using them in the house few hours at a time to get used to them.

AND...... every time I breathe out, my glasses steam up!! Can’t breathe properly, cant see properly!!!

Bakery40 in reply to LadyL7757

I agree and can't stand it. I'm waiting for contact lens appointment as this mask wearing will last for some time unfortunately.

Good luck and keep safe.

Tree20862 in reply to LadyL7757

When first putting on the mask, press down at the top of the nose, make any adjustments and breath in and out slowly before letting go.

My glasses fog less when I do that. download an exemption card. I took a photo of it on my phone.

I use Nasal Guard cold and flu block, bought it in boots. A gel to wipe round your nostrils and under your nose. It helps by catching a lot of virus and pollutants before they enter your nose. You only need a tiny bit so although it looks expensive a little goes a long way.


A friend who like me is a motorcycle rider was told to take of his helmet at a petrol station recently. This resulted in him being the only unmasked person at the garage.

I am due to fill up soon so will probably have to put a mask on under the helmet and take helmet off leaving mask on !!!

Strange world we are living in !

I thought people with COPD and breathing problems were exempt from wearing masks.

Ami i under a misconception.

I live in London

I have 'only' asthma and other medical conditions, still find it difficult to breathe in the mask. I have been wearing when going to hospital and busses. I don't have choice. The doctor in the hospital scared the lights out of me when he said ' if you catch this virus you will end up on the ventilator '.

I rather go out with the mask when I have to and struggle a bit or don't go out at all.

Keep safe.

I thought this post from "Wear a Mask" may help inform regarding face shields and Masks for Covid.

The only masks to stop the wearer catching Covid19 and other virus are N95 and FFP3 masks. All other masks are to stop you spreading virus, but do not stop you catching it.

Face shields are not Masks.

If you are working in a business wearing a face shield instead of a mask you are still at risk of spreading and breathing Covid particles.

A face mask is designed to fit tightly around the wearers nose & mouth to stop egress transmission and in the case of an N95 and FFP3 mask to also stop particles coming in. A face shield has a gaping hole at the sides and underneath and does not offer the protection you might think it does. A face shield is a spit & sneeze screen primarily and normally worn in a hospital environment with other PPE such as a mask and never on their own. The worst example seen to date is salon staff wearing shields and the customer wearing a mask, the hairdresser is washing the clients hair at the sink directly underneath her, potentially spreading Covid particles onto the customers face or eyes. If the hairdresser was wearing a mask or both there would be a minimal risk of transmission. #WearAMask not just a #FaceSheild #Covid19 #Coronavirus

Off to the shops this morning, it is compulsory to where a mask, except in open spaces, fortunately we can buy N95 grade from the chemist, and they do make me feel a bit more safe, unfortunately there are people who don't give a fig for others and wear a mask with their nose exposed. Frightening. But being a little paranoid about covid can't be a bad thing

My first outing yesterday in 16 weeks to a Chiropodist which was much needed. I wore a mask to walk from car to surgery. This was a short walk but I found t hard to breathe BUT I did feel safer wearing it! Very few other people wearing masks but it was interesting how people well avoided me as I approached them on the pavements.

Wearing a face shield would probably be better for you soul-123 they are alot more comfortable x

soul-123 in reply to Izb1

Yes im beginning to think so x

I thought the idea was to protect other people, not yourself ? Unless you wear the kind of mask used in barrier nursing they offer little protection ? And people with breathing problems are exempt, although I shan't be going on public transport any time soon.

If you get Covid 19 your breathing will be utterly restricted. And you will probably die. However much you think it affects your breathing it will be worth it to avoid infection.

I hate them. Had to wear one at hairdressers yesterday and didn’t like it. I like my scarf as I can breathe more easily because I can put it to what I like but still close enough to keep coronavirus germs at bay.

I have to wear them all day at work and travelling to work and home 9- 10 hours . Hate it as I have chest pains now and laboured breathing some of the time. Will get disciples if yo don’t wear them. Wore a visor for the past 2 weeks. But this steams up and vision is affected when wearing glasses.

Sorry to hear that sounds awful please take care of your self.

I have decided we are all part of a experiment in this crisis and just have to keep risk assessing and taking care of ourselves as best we can, thank you for all you replies it really has helped X

I keep trying to wear a face mask but find a feel a bit panicky when it restricts my breathing and have to remove it.

I've bought 6 face masks, I with a ventilator thingy - can't think of proper term - which is possibly the best, but is too big; one very pretty cotton hand made (not by me) mask, which suffocated me in seconds, and a pack of 5 Elle masks (yet untried outside but still not easy to breathe in on a quick home trial). Im concerned the face shield won't protect me sufficiently. I'm left believing people SHOULD wear face coverings, but without something for me that I can actually breathe in. I'm more immediately likely to die of suffocation!

I have to wear them at work. I work 12.5 hours and need to have on on from the time I leave my car to go into the building, until I go back to my car.

I have severe persistent asthma with a reactive Airway. It was hard, at first. I find sipping on a cool liquid, through a straw, gets rid of the humidity in my mask for a while.

You may need to get used to it. Do it for short periods of time. Try to stay calm.


I would be worried if other people would become upset if I wasn't wearing a mask and give me aggro about it,is it worth that?I have worn one for 10 mins and that was wearing a mask at least we are keeping others safe more so than ourselves, if only people around us wear them also to protect Us vulnerable group

You may also like...