Since moving to a river valley fifteen years ago, I've developed sinus problems. In addition to battling frequent nasal congestion, especially in the fall and winter months, I often find myself dealing with a good deal of sinus pain. Various things can help to relieve or improve it, but when it's at its worst, what I most need is pressure on my nasal passages to help open them more freely so I can breathe.
Several years ago I tried the Breathe Right Nasal Strips to see if they could help. I was skeptical at first about what a small piece of latex stretched across the bridge of my nose could really do, and was astonished at how much they helped. When placed in the correct position, Breathe Right strips place pressure right on those places where congestion can prove most painful. The small plastic strip adheres to your nose and slightly lifts or opens nasal passages. The pressure relief, particularly during evenings when my congestion is at is most painful, is simply enormous.
I recently had reason to remember Breathe Right again when I developed a yukky summer cold that morphed into what felt like one of my wintry sinus infections. The pressure behind my eyes, in my cheeks and even jaws was awful. At its worst, every part of my head, including my ears, felt affected. So I was very happy to find some of the Breathe Right strips in my drawer.
One caveat: the product I'm reviewing here, and the one I find effective, is the regular package of Breathe Right nasal strips. The "advanced" kind -- which my husband brought home last winter thinking they would be similar or, who knows? actually advanced over the original -- do not work for me. They're designed slightly differently, and while they may work as well or better for some people, I could not get them to stay on my nose long enough to make any difference at all. The shape of the strip is different and more complex and it doesn't seem to fit my nose. The fact that they're still making them must mean they work for someone, but that someone isn't me.
End of caveat. The original Breathe Right strips still work wonders for me, thankfully. They also still come in sizes, not the one size fits all idea of the "advanced" boxes. I get the small/medium size, since I have a smallish nose, and I have a feeling that size would fit the majority of adult women.
The clear plastic strips are made of a hard but flexible plastic with adhesive on the back. Each one is wrapped a little like a Band-Aid, and you peel the back off like a Band-Aid as well. The adhesive sticks pretty well, so you really need to get it in proper position the first time -- it's difficult to take it off again and move it around without losing so much stickiness it loses its effectiveness. The insert in the package gives directions for placement, including a small diagram that shows proper placement across the bridge of your nose (along with positions that are too high and too low). It may take a time or two for you to figure out the precise position that works best for you.
The insert instructions also suggest that you wash and dry your nose before placing the strip. That's supposedly to remove any oil or dirt that might get in the way of the strip adhering well. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, and I've never seen a lot of difference either way.
The package shows pictures of people sleeping and the tag line for the product is "breathe better, sleep better" so there is no direct caution against falling asleep with the strip on, though it is cautioned not to use the product for more than 12 hours a day. I have fallen asleep wearing a strip, but I tend to find that after awhile I wake up with it bothering me. I have fairly sensitive skin, which may have something to do with it, because after a while it begins to make my nose feel a little sore. Still, I've worn a strip as long as a couple of hours without too much problem, and the effective way it opens my nasal passages is well worth a little skin irritation.
It probably goes without saying that if you have an allergy to latex, you should not use this product, as it is made from rubber latex.
Breathe Right Nasal Strips are not cheap, but their cost is not so exorbitant that I find it prohibits me from using them. I recently had to buy a new box of 30 strips and paid $12.79 at my local pharmacy. That's less than 50 cents per strip, and considering I usually only use one-two per day during the worst of my sinus bouts, a box can keep me going for a long time. I store them in the bathroom drawer and have never had a problem with the plastic becoming brittle even when I've kept a package for well over a year.
Breathe Right Nasal Strips may not work for everyone, but if you've tried other forms of sinus pressure relief without much success, or if you're looking for a medicine-free option, you might want to give them a try. I've been pleasantly surprised by how well they work for me.
Read all 6 Reviews
Write a Review