Using Breathe Right Strips for Snoring and Other Breathing Problems
Did you know that more than half of the population snores? Do you occasionally snore or sleep with someone who does? Not only is snoring a nuisance, but many snorers suffer from obstructive sleep apnea as well.
Sleep apnea is often associated with difficulty breathing thus leading to a poor night’s sleep. Daytime drowsiness can occur, and your quality of life decreases. Sufferers from prolonged sleep apnea can often end up with higher blood pressure which could ultimately lead to heart disease.
There have been many claims of miraculous cures for the snoring epidemic and other similar breathing problems. But the primary focus is being able to breathe easily and get a great night’s sleep. Using Breathe Right Strips could be the perfect solution.
What Causes Snoring?
When you sleep, your muscles relax. As air is pulled in, the tongue pulls up against the soft palate in the back of your throat and the opening narrows causing a vibration of the tissues. Because it closes all the way, no air is able to get in, thus causing a deprivation of oxygen and your brain sends a message to your body to wake up.
Why Do People Snore?
People snore for different reasons. Some of the more common conditions that affect the airway and cause snoring are:
There are dozens of products that claim to provide a solution, however, most of these products, such as nasal sprays and decongestant medicines, contain chemicals and other unnatural ingredients.
The Breathe Right Strips open your nasal passageways in a natural drug-free way to help in correcting night-time breathing difficulties, especially nasal congestion and problems with a deviated septum.
Why Breathe Right Strips Help with So Many Breathing Problems
Nasal strips have been used for several years as a noted relief aid for breathing problems. It's a natural method of creating a clearer airway for oxygen to enter and exit the body and is ideal for people suffering from snoring.
Breathe Right Strips are a kind of adhesive bandage with embedded plastic strips that are applied to the bridge of the nose and across the flare of each nostril. They act as a kind of external nasal dilator.
If you are having problems with your nostrils shutting down, it basically gently pulls them up allowing for better airflow giving you immediate and continued relief.
Breathe Right Strips are useful in increasing the volume of airflow through the nasal cavity in the front inch and a half of your nose.
For chronic snorers, they have been shown to reduce the loudness of snoring and improve the quality of sleep for not only the snorer but the others around the snorer.
If you're congested from a cold or allergies, you already know the airway is somewhat blocked making it difficult to breathe. By using a Breathe Right Strips, the passageway is widened and there is less airflow resistance making it easier to breathe.
If you suffer from a deviated septum, relief is here. A deviated septum is a deformity of the nose. This deformity prevents the natural division of the cartilage and bone in the nose. It collapses one side of the nose or nostril. When this occurs, breathing can be challenging and air intake limited. The Breathe Right Strips provide an easy solution by pulling back the nostrils to give a larger available airway providing temporary relief.
If you are among one of the many who snores, whether it is from congestion due to a cold, allergies or sinus infections or if you have a deviated septum, Breathe Right Strips are the perfect non-drug alternative to a good night’s sleep.
Snoring can cause huge problems it getting quality sleep. A gentle snoring from time-to-time is fine but if the problem gets out of hand it can affect you and your partner. Fortunately, there are various snoring aids available if your snoring has become a major issue.
Two of the common snoring aids people turn to are nasal strips and nasal dilators. Both are effective options but it is important to choose the right one for your specific needs. By taking a more in-depth look at nasal strips and nasal dilators, you can make a more informed decision regarding the best solution for you.
What are Nasal Strips and How Do They Work?
Nasal strips are simple to use, which has helped to increase their popularity. Some people find them more effective than others.
Nasal strips are small, thin strips that are designed to fit just above the flare of the nostrils. They are made from flexible material so they can easily follow the contour of your nose. The strips have an adhesive backing, which enables you to attach them to your nose. The idea is that once you apply the strip it will remain in place all night. However, some people find that perspiration, excess oil, or movement during the night causes the strip to come away.
These strips work by opening the sinus passages and improving breathing. Once the strip has been applied, it will try and straighten back to its original shape. This is what causes the sides of the nose to lift and the nasal passages to open.
The Pros and Cons of Nasal Strips
By looking at the pros and cons of nasal strips, you can better determine whether they will be suited to your needs. Some of the key pros and cons to consider include:
What are Nasal Dilators and How Do They Work?
The second option is a nasal dilator. They are quick and simple to use. They can help to make breathing at night easier, which in turn helps to reduce snoring. Many people who do not find the nasal strips effective turn to dilators instead.
Nasal dilators are small devices that are made from metal, plastic, or rubber. They fit directly into the nostril and remain in place all night to aid your breathing. The dilators are easy to insert and do not cause any undue discomfort when you have them inserted.
Once the nasal dilator is inserted into the nostrils, it keeps them open. This stops the nostrils from becoming constricted during sleep. When your nostrils collapse onto themselves, breathing through your nose becomes difficult. This can cause you to snore. Nasal dilators will help to combat this by making sure the nasal passages stay open at night.
The Pros and Cons of Nasal Dilators
There are various pros and cons you need to consider if you are thinking of using nasal dilators to help combat snoring. Some of the main ones include:
You should make sure you weigh the pros and cons of nasal dilators to decide whether they are suitable for you.
How to Make Your Choice
If you are undecided about whether to use nasal strips or nasal dilators, there are a few considerations that may help you to decide.
Ease of use: Both solutions are quick and easy to use. You may find that nasal strips provide the quickest and simplest option, as they simply need to be placed and pressed down on the nose. Nasal dilators, on the other hand, must be inserted into the nostrils.
The costs involved: The cost of both nasal strips and dilators is inexpensive. However, with nasal strips, you need to purchase them continually as they will need to be replaced each night. With nasal dilators, you can re-use them and they do not require daily replacement. This means that you won’t have to buy them regularly, which helps to reduce costs over the long term.
Comfort levels: Many people feel no discomfort with nasal dilators even though they must be inserted into the nostrils. However, some people may find them very noticeable when they are inserted. Nasal strips, therefore, may be considered the more comfortable option of the two.
Effectiveness when being worn: Both nasal strips and dilators work by allowing more air into the nostrils, which then improves breathing. Nasal dilators fit snugly into the nostrils so they remain stable throughout the night. Nasal strips, on the other hand, may come away from the skin if it is oily or due to perspiration.
Sleeping is important. As anyone knows who has experienced a sleepless night next to someone who snores, snoring can be disruptive. Luckily for you (and those around you), some products can reduce your odds of snoring, and potentially eliminate your snoring problem altogether.
Why Do People Snore?
To determine the best solution for your snoring, the best place to start is to figure out what is causing your snoring in the first place. Nasal and sinus problems are a common cause of snoring. These issues can be anything from a temporary cold to a chronic sinus condition.
Another cause of snoring is aging. As you get older, your throat becomes narrower and you lose muscle tone in your throat, which in turn causes a narrowing of the airways, affecting your breathing patterns in such a way that it can cause you to snore.
A common cause of snoring is the use of alcohol or medications that have a muscle-relaxing effect on your body, which leads to snoring. Being overweight or sleeping on your back are additional factors that can contribute to snoring. While some of these causes are things you have control over, many of these causes can’t be avoided. Fortunately, there are some products available that can eliminate, or at the very least, reduce your chances of snoring.
One less common cause of snoring you should be aware of is a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be dangerous, and if you believe this could be the cause of your snoring, it is best to see your doctor first before relying on any over-the-counter products.
Is There a Difference Between a Nasal Strip and a Nasal Dilator?
Nasal strips are a form of nasal dilators. Nasal dilators come in two different forms -- external nasal dilators and internal nasal dilators. What is commonly thought of as a nasal strip is just the external type of nasal dilator. Both are effective snoring aids.
A Closer Look at External Nasal Dilators
External nasal dilators, or nasal strips, are one commonly used product that can reduce, or even, in some cases, prevent snoring. Nasal strips are small tabs that contain adhesive material that you attach to the outside of your nose. They look and feel a little bit like a Band-Aid. These strips work by widening the airways, which has the effect of reducing nasal airflow resistance. While this can be an effective method, keep in mind it is a temporary one, and its effectiveness depends on the source or cause of the snoring.
The use of nasal strips is quite common, and these items are sold over-the-counter at various locations, including pharmacies. These products are popular due to their effectiveness in reducing snoring but are also common treatment choices for people since they are also non-invasive and inexpensive.
The Use of Internal Nasal Dilators
Internal nasal dilators are another tool you can use to combat your snoring. Internal nasal dilators are small rubber or plastic devices you insert into your nostrils. The device keeps your nostrils open while you are sleeping, which allows your nasal passageways to remain open and clear. By keeping your nasal passageways open, the device directly reduces snoring.
Nasal Products as Complementary Therapy
Many other products on the market can reduce or eliminate snoring, such as mouthpieces and anti-snoring pillows. In the past, these products were typically used in conjunction with nasal sprays. Nasal sprays work by reducing inflammation.
Due to the immediate effectiveness of external and internal nasal dilators, these devices have now begun to take the place of nasal sprays as recommended complementary treatment. When used with other anti-snoring products, nasal dilators can be even more effective in reducing snoring.
Using external and/or internal nasal dilators can be a relatively inexpensive and effortless way to stop snoring at night.
These products are even more effective when used in conjunction with other anti-snoring products, such as pillows or mouthpieces. Not only will you feel much better in the morning after having a refreshing night of sleep with the use of these products, but you’ll also be giving the gift of uninterrupted sleep to anyone sharing a room with you!
Do Nasal Strips Work for Sleep Apnea or Snoring?
Many people mistakenly believe that sleep apnea is a severe form of snoring. This misconception can lead sufferers of sleep apnea to use anti-snoring devices, such as mouthpieces to alleviate their sleep apnea. Those products are not designed to treat sleep apnea.
While snoring and sleep apnea are separate conditions that need to be treated differently, severe snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, but it does not explain the other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea.
Nasal strips may be a temporary solution to alleviate snoring, but should be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as CPAP, to better treat sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a severe sleeping disorder in which sleepers have unusual pauses in their breathing during the night. This can be due to a variety of factors; the airway can become obstructed due to an anatomical blockage, or the sleeper may lack the respiratory strength to maintain a positive airflow.
The length of time of the pauses varies according to the severity of the disorder and the nature of the obstruction, but it can last if 10 seconds. People with sleep apnea will also cough, choke, or gasp during sleep due to a lack of oxygen.
Treatments for sleep apnea focus on methods to keep the airway open and maintain positive airflow during sleep. Most medical professionals treat sleep apnea with a CPAP machine, which keeps your throat open while you sleep by increasing the air pressure in your airway.
Other treatments for sleep apnea include dental devices that reposition the tongue and jaw, surgery that removes excess throat tissue, and electrical stimulation of the hypoglossal nerve.
What is the Difference Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea?
Snoring, as opposed to sleep apnea, is noise caused by vibrations in the airways due to obstruction. These obstructions can be anatomical, such as enlarged uvula or tongue; due to narrowed nasal passages caused by seasonal allergies or illness; caused by various lifestyle activities, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or medications.
Though not directly life-threatening, snoring can have many adverse effects like those encountered by sleep apnea sufferers. Snoring contributes to poor sleep quality which can affect the sleeper’s health and social life. Lack of quality sleep can cause many physical and psychological problems, including increased blood pressure, hormonal changes, mood disorders, and daytime sleepiness.
There are generally two different types of snorers: people who breathe through their mouth, and those who breathe through their nose. It is, therefore, important that snoring treatments directly address the cause of the snoring.
For example, a back sleeping snorer may consider using a mandibular device or position training device. A more effective treatment for nasal snorers would be nasal strips, which can effectively widen the nasal passages.
How Do Nasal Strips Work?
Nasal strips work to keep the narrowest part of the nasal passage open to allow for better airflow, thereby preventing the vibrations that cause snoring. They are usually constructed with an adhesive bandage fortified with thin, plastic splints, which are placed across the bridge of the nose, just behind the nostrils.
Nasal strips and nasal dilators are snoring aids designed to relieve mild to moderate snoring caused by nasal congestion and allergies. Their effectiveness with other types of snoring, and sleep apnea is minimal.
People who snore can have sleep apnea, but not all people with sleep apnea, snore. Snoring is only one of many symptoms of sleep apnea that need to be addressed, and in some cases nasal strips can be beneficial. However, it is more likely that snoring associated with sleep apnea is more severe, in which case, an alternative device may be more effective.
For those people who suffer from mild to moderate snoring, nasal strips can be effective.
However, if snoring is not a symptom of your sleep apnea, nasal strips would not be an effective treatment, and you should consult a doctor about other treatment options.
What are Breathe Right nasal strips?
Breathe Right nasal strips are a drug-free, non-prescription snoring aids that work to mechanically open nasal passages and reduce resistance to air flowing through the nose, making breathing easier. They are flexible adhesive bands that are placed on the outside of the bridge of the nose. These are effective for users who are suffering from nasal congestion due to cold or allergies. While not primarily considered a stop snoring aid, one of the benefits of this product is that it can alleviate or eliminate snoring.
In 1991, Bruce Johnson had trouble breathing through his nose at night, he wondered “why not try opening the nasal passages mechanically from the outside of the nose?” After three years of development, he had created the Breathe Right nasal strip. The device was patented and brought to market in 1992.
In the UK, nasal strips became popular as a performance-enhancing aid (because they promote better sleep) when they were used and endorsed by Robbie Fowler, the Liverpool football striker.
About the company
Breathe Right was originally marketed and sold by CNS. Founded in 1982 to develop equipment for brain wave analysis, CNS raised $3.2 million from its 1987 initial public offering. In 1985, the company was developing products for use in sleep disorder clinics. In 1991, Bruce Johnson was looking for clinical proof of the effectiveness of Breathe Right strips, and a relationship with CNS was forged.
In 2006, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the British pharmaceuticals behemoth acquired CNS for $566 million. GSK, known for its pharmaceuticals, made the acquisition to boost its consumer healthcare division. Governments in countries with nationalized healthcare are always looking for ways to reduce healthcare costs, and safe over-the-counter products are an effective way of doing so.
With the CNS acquisition, GSK acquired Breathe Right strips as well as the Fiber Choice brand.
The snoring aids market has many different sub-categories. There are two types of nasal dilators. The first of which are products designed to fit inside the nasal passages, such as Nozovent and WoodyKnows. The second category is nasal strips that adhere to the outside of the nose and includes Breathe Right strips.
Direct competitors to Breathe Right strips include Snoreeze, MQ Better Breath, Sequoia Breathe-ability, Premier Value nasal strips, and many stores (including Walmart) carry private label versions of these products.
How do Breathe Right nasal strips work?
Breathe Right strips are single-use flexible, “spring-like” bands. The underside of each band is an adhesive layer that sticks to the skin on the outside of the nose right above the flare of each nostril. As the bands attempt to straighten out, they lift the sides of the nose and open the nasal passages.
The human nose is divided into two nostrils. At the back of each nostril is the nasal valve which is a tiny opening that measures about 1/10” wide. All the air that you breathe through your nose must pass through these two tiny openings. The nasal valves are easily blocked, most often from nasal congestion due to cold or allergies. The Breathe Right strip widens the space by pulling open the cartilage walls of the nasal valves, making it easier to breathe.
The strips can be a bit tricky to remove. The adhesive must be strong enough to stay in place for 8 hours. If not removed carefully, the adhesive can leave blemishes on the user’s skin. There is an option for sensitive skin which is easier to remove.
While the company claims Breathe Right strips offer immediate relief, some users report that it took up to 30 minutes for them to feel the effects.
Video closeup of the BreatheRight Nasal Strips
What are the options for Breathe Right nasal strips?
All the Breathe Right products are approved for use by people 5 years and older. GSK claims all the products open the nasal passages up to 38% more than with nasal decongestant sprays alone.
Single-use Breathe Right strips cost about $.30 per night. Although a clear material was chosen for the sensitive skin option, they are not invisible and are noticeable on daytime wearers.
My first night, I applied a Breathe Right strip to see how it felt and if it was comfortable enough to sleep with. I’m not sure if I applied it properly, as I could not get the edges to stick. I decided not to use the snoring app for the first night. I slept well and woke up early the next morning. The strip stayed attached all night, which surprised me. When I woke up, I was aware that the strip felt annoying. It was not painful, but I was aware that it was there and wanted to take it off. Which was like ripping off a band-aid. Removal was painful.
On the second day, I tried using a Breathe Right strip for a 30-minute nap. I recorded my breathing during the nap. Heavy breathing but no snoring, which I took to be a good sign. During ensuing nights, I used my snoring app and did not see any improvement in my snoring or breathing. When I use a nasal dilator (one of the products that fits inside the nostrils), I immediately notice an improvement in my breathing.
Does Breathe Right work for snoring?
Admittedly, my snoring is not nasal allergy based, and Breathe Right strips did not work for my snoring. If your snoring is due to nasal allergies, give them a try. If you visit the Breathe Right website, they will send you a free sample. Again, Breathe Right is not advertised as a snoring solution, but the box does state that the product "Reduces snoring due to nasal congestion."