Road test: Sinus Cones™ nostril wideners

What if you have exceedingly narrow nostrils, like the unfortunate person whose nose is shown above?

Well, it’d be hard to breathe out of your nose, wouldn’t it?

And what if in addition to having exceedingly narrow nostrils, you had a lot of sinus congestion and swelling all up in your life?

You’d probably wish your nostrils were wider, wouldn’t you?

Yes, I—I mean you—would.

Enter Sinus Cones, a little gizmo made out of rubbery plastic. It’s sole purpose is to open those nostril-puppies up to make nose breathing easier. And they work great! Here’s what the device looks like:

By the way, you can trim away the center thing and just insert the individual cones separately, although I’m not sure I see the fun in that.

When I discovered these on the Internets last week, I nearly fell out of my chair. As an armchair inventor, I had long daydreamed about developing such a product for my own use. I almost couldn’t believe there wasn’t something already on the market. Well, turns out there was, at least for the past few years.

Many times my sinuses are swollen, but I’m not congested. Using my beloved Sinus Rinse at those times is only partially helpful, because there’s really not much to rinse away. We don’t have to get into graphic detail here, you know what I mean.

For sinus swelling without congrestion, I’ve often felt that if I could only physically open my nose up, I could breathe a lot better.

You’re probably wondering if I tried Breathe Right strips. Yes, I did, as soon as they came out. I’m sure they work for some, but they are useless for my trainwreck of a nose.

So I ordered Sinus Cones immediately and could not wait for them to arrive, which they did, yesterday.

My biggest fear is that they would pinch or be otherwise uncomfortable. They don’t pinch and they’re comfortable enough that I very quickly don’t notice them, aside from seeing them at the end of my nose.

I wore them for about 90 minutes when I was working last night and when I took them out, I really noticed how much more constricted my nasal airflow was without them.

Sleeping with them was less successful. My sinuses often get worse when I’m laying in bed. Last night, even the cones couldn’t keep one of my nostrils open (the left or “bad” nostril). And as I suspected might happen, the thing fell out in the middle of the night. Not sure how to prevent that. But I will say they were comfortable enough that falling to sleep with them inserted was no problem. I will definitely try sleeping with them again.

But let’s face it, this is a desperate measure. Even I can’t fail to recognize how freakish they make one look, although, to be honest, that was part of the appeal to me. I can just imagine how much fun it will be when we’re getting ready to go out and my wife finally notices that I’ve got my freakazoid facial appliance installed and she screams at me to take it out, horrified at the thought that I might be seen in public with them. Too late, honey:

If you have problems with narrow nasal airways, I recommend giving these nostril-puppies a try. They ain’t cheap—around $25, including shipping, and you’re supposed to replace them often. But they’re working for me.