Breathe Right nasal strips and the respiratory disturbance index in sleep related breathing disorders

Am J Rhinol. Sep-Oct 1999;13(5):385-9. doi: 10.2500/105065899781367456.


This investigation assesses the effects of Breathe Right nasal strips on the respiratory disturbance index (RDI) measured by polysomnography in patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. The positive effect of these strips on nasal ventilation was shown in earlier studies. Twenty-six patients with an RDI higher than 10 in an initial measurement underwent a second preoperative polysomnography with Breathe Right nasal strips in place. Nineteen of these 26 patients showed reduction of RDI during the second night of polysomnography using the nasal strips, indicating that nasal obstruction seems to be a predominant factor in the etiology of snoring and apnea in these individuals. Demographic data, medical history, rhinoscopy, clinical assessment of pharyngeal obstruction (Mueller's maneuver), as well as anterior rhinomanometry and acoustic rhinometry were used to identify typical findings correlating with a positive effect of the Breathe Right nasal strips on the RDI: 1. Hyperplasia or hypertrophy of the lower turbinates, septal deviation, and/or allergic rhinitis. 2. None or only minor pharyngeal obstruction. 3. Age less than 55 years. If a positive effect is seen during polysomnography with the strips in place, patients will most likely profit from an improvement of nasal ventilation. This may help to target more effectively septal or turbinate surgery if applicable. In other cases, if a significant RDI reduction is obtained by the use of the nasal strips, they could also offer a noninvasive modality of treatment, especially since the high degree of co-morbidity in this group of patients can sometimes make a surgical approach less favorable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics / instrumentation
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dilatation / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nose
  • Otolaryngology / instrumentation
  • Otolaryngology / methods
  • Otolaryngology / statistics & numerical data
  • Polysomnography / instrumentation
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Polysomnography / statistics & numerical data
  • Respiration*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy*
  • Snoring / physiopathology
  • Snoring / therapy