6. Discuss travel with your doctor if you have a respiratory disease 

“Masks are sometimes an issue for people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma or COPD, given that they cause resistance to airflow, making it more difficult to breathe,” Dr. Norton says. “For those that have these types of problems, they should talk to their healthcare provider before traveling.” 

Airlines pressurize their cabins to an altitude higher than sea level while in the air, which can make breathing even more difficult, Dr. Norton says. Those with respiratory conditions should discuss the risks with their doctor and come prepared with the proper mask so that they do not experience difficulty breathing and are forced to remove their mask and potentially expose themselves or others to the virus. 

“Homemade cloth masks tend to be thicker than the lightweight double-ear loop masks,” Dr. Norton warns. “A lightweight mask may be a better option.”

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