Breathing Through the Nose

With spring upon the land and pollen in the air, a Santa Barbara inventor is launching a promotional campaign for one of his latest creations, a disposable nasal filter that fits like a swimmer’s nose plug. After almost three years spent working out the details and securing five patents on his design, Richard Ambrose, president BreathePure HealthCare LLC, started selling the Nasal Air Filter a year ago. The real challenge, said Ambrose, was to develop a foam plug capable of capturing allergens yet porous enough to breathe through. Ambrose claims that the device filters out 97 percent of pollen and household dust, as well as any other irritating particulates seven microns or larger. He claims he wears his filter whenever he goes golfing, partly to promote it. Though Ambrose-who also owns Santa Barbara Medco, Inc.-has a degree in business, not medicine, he nonetheless he has been inventing ear, nose, and throat products for more than 30 years in Santa Barbara, working with a number of doctors whose needs and critiques he solicits. One of Ambrose’s earliest designs was for a softer silicon ear surgery tube than was then in use. Although test subjects have asked for a greater selection of colors in the Nasal Air Filter, for the moment, they only come in basic beige; a package of seven retails for $8.75 at Magellan’s Travel Supplies, with stores in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica.

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