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Galwayman’s breathing breakthrough to feature on Dragon’s Den

The focus will be on ‘better breathing’ as opposed to fire breathing when County Galway’s Patrick McKeown steps into the Dragons’ Den later this month.

The breathing and sleep expert will appear on the BBC One programme seeking an investment in his ‘Myotape’ product which supports nose breathing and better sleep among users.

Speaking to the Connacht Tribune this week, the Moycullen man says he’s sworn to secrecy on the outcome of his pitch to the multi-millionaire ‘dragons’.

But he is willing to say that its airing will further highlight the “simple but life-changing effects” of nasal breathing which he says has been buried in the pages of medical literature for far too long.

“The reach of the programme is huge. It’s watched by between three to four million people per episode so hopefully it will get the conversation going – and it needs to get going.

“Nose breathing has been completely ignored in health care for too long,” says Patrick, whose Oxygen Advantage company is also based in Moycullen.

The Meath native, who moved to Galway 25 years ago, has been working in the field of better breathing for over 20 years and has long been an advocate of the Buteyko method of breathing since he discovered it in his early 20s.

Patrick suffered from chronic asthma from childhood and said the simple practice developed by Ukrainian doctor, Konstantin Buteyko, was life changing.

“When I was growing up, as a child and a teenager, and then into my twenties, my asthma was getting worse, but I was also tired,” he explains, adding that breathing difficulties often result in sleep aponia which can be even more destructive to overall health than asthma.

Patrick went to Russia to train in the method and began teaching it at the age of 22, describing it as “very simple, cheap and accessible” treatment.

The Buteyko method is used by asthma and allergy-sufferers all over the world and involves breathing only through the nose, decreasing the amount of air entering the body and making use of the natural filtration system in the nose.

“The nose has a gas called nitrox oxide which sterilises the air and also helps open our airways.

“If you have a respiratory condition, you shouldn’t be breathing through the mouth,” says Patrick, noting that around 8% of the Irish population has diagnosed asthma while many others are likely affected but undiagnosed.

Adopting the method can also be useful in reducing stress, which Patrick says was of great help as he prepared to step out in front of the Dragons.

With his new product, Myotape, Patrick has sought to find an easy method to facilitate mouth taping, something he has practised for years.

“Myotape is a support to help with nose breathing during sleep. It’s very common for adults to breathe through their nose instead of mouth while they’re sleeping. This increases the risk of snoring and sleep apnoea.

“The Myotape goes over the mouth, surrounding the lips and pulling them together to encourage nasal breathing, but there is a hole in the middle so if you need to breath through the mouth, you can do so,” he explains.

The product has been under development for the past four years, says Patrick, and was completed in 2021 during Covid.

Patrick will appear on an upcoming episode of Dragons’ Den on BBC One which airs every Thursday from 8pm.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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