Although it would be an overstatement to say that Breathe Right Extras saved my life, they certainly contributed to my longevity (82 and counting).
Before continuing, I should point out that this is my second review of the Breathe Right Nasal strip product. Rather than send the reader off searching for the original review (and because most of it still applies) I will add it to this one, deleting what isn't applicable and inserting updates in brackets.
Background: Shortly after writing the first review I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and placed on the CPAP breathing device. This device precluded the use of the nasal strips, was exceeding uncomfortable, and made getting a good night's sleep nearly impossible. After much anguish and some experimentation I found an effective substitute, an orthotic appliance (resembling werewolf fangs) that fits over the teeth. The new fangs worked as well as the CPAP, with the added bonus that I could also use Breathe Right Nasal Strips.
In the original review I recommended using the large size; however, once the "Extra" came out, COSTCO no longer carried the large size. Fortunately, I tried the extras and found out that the wider strip with the extra band actually improved airflow and adhered better than the original.
It's only natural to assume that something is working when something else is really doing the job. In my case, the benefit of the Breathe Right Extra strips became apparent the couple of times I forgot to use them and awoke gasping for more oxygen.
These babies really do work.
Original Breathe Right Nasal Strip Review (Edited)
At first glance, the Breathe Right Nasal Strip looks like little more than a glorified Band-Aid you stick on your nose. So why would anyone pay roughly 42 cents apiece [36 cents each in box of 44 @ COSTCO.com] for strips that regularly sell for around twenty?
The answer is that Breathe Right Nasal Strips work like nothing else. I know because I've been using them for almost as long as they've been marketed.
My introduction to Breathe Right strips was "forced." I either did something about my snoring or moved to another mailing address. Yes, my snoring was that bad.
On campouts I was routinely banished to my own tent—and even that was not considered satisfactory. One moonlit night on the Arizona-New Mexico border my camping companions claimed that my snoring actually scattered a column of illegals sneaking into the United States. It was even suggested that I offer my services to the U. S. Border Patrol—a secret weapon against illegal immigration. However specious the accusation, it nevertheless made the point.
I tried Breathe Right nasal strips and they worked.
So what, exactly, do these strips accomplish? According to the company, properly applied strips open nasal passages to allow breathing through the nose instead of the mouth, which, in turn, reduces snoring. Each strip is made of flexible, "spring-like" bands that lift the sides of nose, basically to provide a clear path for air to move in and out. In addition to significantly reducing snoring, the strips also offer relief from common colds, allergies, and improve breathing for people with a deviated septum [and sleep apnea]. The strips also aid breathing during workouts and exercise.
Most of the literature that comes with the package and is posted on breatheright.com indicates that 85% of people use the small/medium size, which is probably true for the entire population; however, most men (those who really snore), like me, need "large." [Extra is much better--as noted above]
The strip fits over the bridge of the nose and fastens to the nostril flaps on either side, lifting them to permit a freer flow of air. The secret of success appears to reside in the stiff design of the strip so it actually lifts rather than merely attaches—as would be the case with a Band-Aid.
Before applying the strip it is absolutely necessary, as instructed, to wash and dry the nose. Otherwise, skin oils weaken the adhesive power on the strip and it may pull loose during the night. [It should also be noted that the strips have a definite "shelf life." losing their adhesive power over time. Buy them a box at a time and don't mix the old with the new.]
Unlike many products that work just as well in their generic form, I've not found an adequate substitute. Most off-brands that I have tried lack the necessary "spring" or fail the adhesive test, popping off unexpectedly. Others simply do not fit properly.
Overall, Breathe Right's claims hold up pretty well. With a properly attached strip you will definitely breathe easier and snore less.