A subjective and objective assessment of nasal patency in aerobically trained males before and after application of a Breathe Right Nasal Strip

Document Type

Conference Presentation


Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences Department

Conference Title

NATA Annual Meeting


National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA)


Baltimore, MD

Conference Dates

June 17-20, 1998

Date of Presentation


Journal Publication

Journal of Athletic Training






2 (Supplement)

Publication Date


First Page



Past research has shown that certain individuals may be responsive to Breathe Right Nasal Strips (BRNS) but few exercise studies exist that objectively assess nasal patency, measured by acoustic rhinometry, coupled with a subjective assessment of nasal patency, measured by a "nasal stuffiness" questionnaire. In fact, there are no studies reporting data using both methods of evaluation together. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to use both objective and subjective methods to determine whether subjects who show an increase in nasal cross-sectional area (N) also subjectively report a reduction in "nasal stuffiness" after applying the strip. Twenty-nine competitive male distance runners (age = 25.76 ± 5.45 yrs., ht. = 69.43 ± 2.52 in., wt. = 151.14 ± 16.52 lbs.) completed questionnaires of "nasal stuffiness" with and without a BRNS and with and without a placebo strip on separate days. Subjects were asked to close one nostril while assessing the other on a 1-5 scale (1 being clear and open, 5 being completely blocked). NAwas determined by acoustic rhinometry (provided by Kay Elemetrics, Lincoln Park, NJ) before and after application of the strips. When all 29 subjects were analyzed together, repeated measures ANOVA showed significant differences using BRNS in comparison to placebo when assessing changes in NA (left: p=.0001, right: p=.0001). A significant difference (p=.012) was also found in changes in right "nasal stuffiness" but no differences were found in changes (p=.293) in left "nasal stuffiness." Subjects were then classified as "responders" (N=17) if a change in NA ≥ .15 cm2 was observed in each nasal passage. When subjects were separated (responders vs. non-responders), significant differences were observed in change in nasal cross-sectional area with the BRNS (responders; left: p=.000 1, right: p=.0001; non-responders; left:p=.032, right: p=.0 11) However, no differences were observed in change in "nasal stuffiness" with the BRNS (responders; left: p=.096, right: p=.096; non-responders; left: p=.674, right: .067) This study supports previous research indicating that certain individuals are responsive to BRNS. Our research also supports the need for further modifications in the subjective evaluation of nasal patency. Therefore, current subjective assessments of nasal patency should not be used alone but rather in conjunction with objective measures such as acoustic rhinometry.


Published conference abstract from Free Communications Sessions sponsored by the NATA Research and Education Foundation and held at the NATA Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, June 17-20, 1998.

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