National Asthma Council Australia is looking to clear up the confusion.
Patients with asthma should wear a face mask outdoors when they are unable to socially distance, National Asthma Council Australia (NAC) said today.
There has been some confusion around whether patients with asthma could seek an exemption from wearing a mask due because of their medical condition, said NAC director Professor Peter Wark.
“There is no evidence that wearing a mask worsens asthma and an article published in the European Respiratory Journal states that any exemptions of respiratory patients on the compulsory use of face masks is not evidence based and may carry increased risk of personal infection from COVID-19,” he said.
If people with asthma and other lung diseases feel more breathless wearing a mask, particularly while exercising, they should move to an open area with good airflow and briefly remove their mask until they have caught their breath, he said.
“We encourage all health professionals to have a conversation with patients with asthma, or their carers, that asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases are not an impediment to wearing a face mask,” he said.
“The risk of contracting covid-19 outdoors is much less than indoors and in confined spaces with poor ventilation. Minimising going out in public, especially to indoor public spaces, will reduce the amount of time people will need to wear a face mask and, of course, if people are in acute respiratory distress, they should contact their health professional or call an ambulance immediately,” said Professor Wark.