Nearly everyone has heard of Breathe Right nasal strips.
Either you have seen a commercial for them or you happened to stroll by them in the store. Maybe someone has recommended that you try them, but you are not quite sure what they are.
Whatever the case is, the main question you probably have is, “Will they stop my snoring?”
A Brief History
Breathe Right has sold its popular nasal strips worldwide since 1992. Bruce Johnson, the mastermind behind the product was on a mission to find something that would offer him relief from his sinuses.
Not only did he have chronic allergies; he also had a deviated septum to deal with, a well.
In 1988, the idea just came to him one night. He explored the thought, developed the concept, and was ready to start production in 1991. By 1992, it was made available to the public.
Since then, it has been a popular product with those who have sinus issues. Much of the popularity has to do with the fact that NFL players initially endorsed the product.
Understanding How They Work
Breathe Right nasal strips are nonprescription and drug-free devices that work mechanically to open nasal passages. In doing so, the airflow resistance through the nasal passages is reduced, thereby improving the ability to breathe through the nose.
The strip is a “spring-like,” flexible band that resembles a thin Band-Aid. A special adhesive is on the underside that sticks to the skin directly above the flare of both nostrils.
When the spring-link band naturally tries to return to its original shape the sides of the nose are gently lifted. This opens the nasal passages and provides immediate relief.
It is helpful to understand that your nose is divided into chambers, more commonly referred to as nostrils. A nasal valve is behind each nostril. These two valves are extremely narrow and can easily become blocked.
Considering all the air that flows through your nose has to pass through these passages, a blockage poses a problem. Since the Breathe Right strip pulls the flexible cartilage walls open, it makes it easier to breathe.
The strips come in several styles and sizes, including Extra Clear, Clear, Advanced, Original Tan, Menthol, and Kids. The biggest difference between the varieties is that the clear are easier to remove and therefore recommended for those with sensitive or dry skin.
Also, the Menthol ones have mentholated vapors that are encapsulated inside microscopic beads. By scratching the strip, the beads are broken and the vapors are released.
Do the Nasal Strips Stop Snoring?
If you have read reviews on this product you probably found a lot of positive and negative ones. So, how can one person give a rave review and the next person say they did not work for them at all? Well, the effectiveness of the product depends entirely on the individual’s snoring source.
For someone who snores solely because their nasal passages are restricted, then this product can seem like a miracle. Just think about the last time you had a cold or your allergies were really bothering you.
Being able to breathe through your nose would have been nice, right? Even non-snorers typically snore when their nasal passages are restricted. These strips help.
However, if you are like the majority of snorers, then that sound you made has nothing to do with your nose. For most, snoring originates in the airway by the soft palate. At this precise area there are soft tissues and muscles that relax when you fall asleep, much like all the other muscles and tissues in your body.
These loose tissues often flop around, which causes them to vibrate against surrounding throat tissues as air passes through. This vibration creates the snoring sound. In some people, the tissues relax so much that they block the airway and cause the individual to stop breathing for seconds or even minutes.
This occurrence signifies a medical condition called sleep apnea. This is a condition that only a medical care professional should diagnose and treat. Sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, and other serious health concerns.
Consider a Mouthpiece to Stop Snoring
Nasal strips will not stop your snoring, if it stems from your airway. You need a product that addresses the cause of your particular problem. A mandibular advancement device, more commonly called an MAD or snoring mouthpiece is a device proven to be effective for this condition.
It works by holding the lower jaw in a forward position. By doing this the throat muscles are stretched and loose tissues are tightened. Now there is nothing flopping around to vibrate, which means a snoring sound is not created. Numerous case studies dating back to the 1980s have been done to prove the effectiveness of these devices.
MADs fall into two categories: prescription and over-the-counter. For a very long time there were no over-the-counter products available. The only way to get a mouthpiece was to visit a dentist or sleep specialist to have one prescribed and fitted.
Today, you can purchase these devices from a number of manufacturers, and they cost a fraction of what prescription appliances do. Most of these readily available mouthpieces are made of thermoplastic material that becomes pliable when heated in boiling water. This allows you to get a custom fit in the privacy of your own home.
The biggest difference between the two is the price. On average, over-the-counter products cost around $100. A professionally fitted device from your dentist will generally be well over $1,000.
Comparing the Cost between Nasal Strips and Mouthpieces
If your snoring originates from your airway then right about now you are probably feeling disappointed that a cheap fix like nasal strips will not work. Well, before you get too upset you should know that if you look at the big picture, a mouthpiece is actually the less expensive option long-tern.
You are looking at the fact that you can buy packs of nasal strips and they average about $.50 each. However, keep in mind that these strips are not reusable. You can only wear them once. So, if you wear one every night, this will cost you about $182 per year.
A quality mouthpiece will run you between $70 and $100, and most last a year. This means that your yearly expense is also between $70 and $100. Not to mention, think about the environmental waste associated with all the nasal strips and their packaging.
Should You Give Breathe Right Nasal Strips a Try?
If your snoring is originated in the nasal passage then these strips could be an effective solution for you. You can pick a box up at any drugstore. I recommend trying a box of 10 to see if they work for you. There is no point in buying a larger box, if they are going to end up in the trash.
If your sinuses are not to blame and the nasal strips do not work then a snoring mouthpiece will be a more appropriate option. Although they cannot be purchased in your local store, you can easily order one online and it will be shipped right to your door.Click Here to Access the Official Breathe Right Nasal Strips Website
Which device should I choose?
No one can answer this question for you. Your mouth and needs are unique, so one that I love or that your neighbor swears by may not be the best solution for you.
There are numerous products available to choose from, so if you are feeling overwhelmed this is perfectly normal. I have written several reviews on products I have personally tried and you can always use the chart I compiled for comparison purposes.