Saturday, July 25, 2009


I snore horrendously. At least, I used to before I got a CPAP, a machine that basically blows air up my nose so I can breathe while I sleep. Before the CPAP, I resorted to Breathe-Right strips. These are a little smaller than bandaids and about the same colour. Unlike bandaids, they are quite stiff. When you press one on across the bridge of your nose, it pulls up the outside of your nostrils so more air can get through. Do they work? Well, I got a CPAP, so obviously they weren't sufficient. On the other hand, I still use them regularly along with the CPAP, so I do think they help.

For a long time Breathe-Right strips came in two sizes: small/medium, and medium/large. This is functionally the same thing as having small and large, but I suppose it allows people with large noses to console themselves that they are really medium. This changed recently, however; now it is small/medium and large. The small/medium now also says, "fits most people" or some such language. I guess people who weren't sure about their nose size were buying the large ones and were unhappy about it. Thus ends one attempt to avoid offending people.

I was happy the last time I bought these because they finally had a decent generic brand. There have been generic versions of Breathe-Right strips for years, but never any good ones. The ones from Wal-Mart had a fold right in the middle. If you understood my description of how they work, you will see that this defeats their purpose: they don't pull up on the nasal passages because of the fold. This design is so bassackwards that I wondered whether it was an attempt to get around the patent protection of Breathe-Right. Perhaps they figured they could sell something that looked like a generic version; perhaps they even thought that their version would work, although I can assure you that it did not. So when I found an actual, functioning generic version of Breathe-Right, I was happy because I was sure that the patent protection had finally run out, and I could save a lot of money in my quest to get a good night's sleep.

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