Nasal dilator strips delay the onset of oral route breathing during exercise

Margaret Seto-Poon, Terence C. Amis, Jason P. Kirkness, John R. Wheatley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The external nasal dilator strip (ENDS) device (Breathe Right®, CNS Inc., Chanhassen, MN, USA) has been adopted by athletes to promote nasal route breathing during exercise. We studied the influence of ENDS on the switching point from nasal-only to oro-nasal breathing during exercise in 4 healthy men (age 25 ± 2 yrs, mean ± SEM) and 5 women (age 30 ± 5 yrs). Resting inspiratory nasal airflow resistance decreased from 0.33 ± 0.02 kPa/L/s without ENDS to 0.22 ± 0.01 kPa/L/s with ENDS (p < 0.01). ENDS delayed the onset of oro-nasal breathing such that the time from commencement of exercise to switching increased by 15.2%, and maximum levels of inspiratory nasal airflow and ventilation achieved prior to switching increased by 14.9% and 14.3%, respectively (all p < 0.05). We conclude that, in normal healthy subjects, ENDS does promote nasal route breathing during exercise, but any delay in the onset of oral route breathing during a progressive exercise task appears relatively small.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-547
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Mouth breathing
  • Nose
  • Upper airway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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