Snoring is a common issue that can impact individuals of any age. It stems from various factors, such as allergies, sleep apnea, or narrow nostrils. Many people turn to nasal strips, an over-the-counter remedy for reducing snoring. However, do these strips truly deliver on their claims?
Nasal strips are a safe and effective way to reduce snoring in some people.
They work by gently lifting the nostrils open, making it easier to breathe through the nose.
Nasal strips are not a cure for sleep apnea and may not be effective for everyone.
If considering using nasal strips, talk to a doctor first to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Nasal strips for snoring
Snoring is a common occurrence during sleep, characterized by the loud sounds produced when breathing. It happens when the airflow through the mouth and nose is partially obstructed, causing vibrations in the throat and mouth tissues. These vibrations result in the recognizable snoring sound.
Snoring can occur for many reasons, including narrow nostrils, sleep apnea, or simple anatomical factors. In cases where the snoring originates from issues with the nose, such as congestion, a deviated septum, or a naturally narrow nasal anatomy, nasal strips may be beneficial. These strips are designed with a flexible band that adheres just above the nostrils. The adhesive nature of the strip ensures it remains securely in place throughout the night.
How do nasal strips work?
Nasal strips are designed with a thin, flexible band placed just above the nostrils. These strips have an adhesive side that sticks to the skin. The primary purpose of nasal strips is to lift the nostrils gently, allowing for a wider opening that allows air to flow more freely. This helps reduce vibrations and minimize snoring.
When used as directed, these adhesive strips function as external nasal dilators. They operate by gently lifting and widening each nostril, opening up the nasal passages. This larger passage reduces airflow resistance, facilitating more effortless inhalation and exhalation through the nostrils.
Benefits of using nasal strips
Although many people have found nasal strips helpful, it's important to acknowledge that there is limited scientific research on their effectiveness. Early studies indicate that nasal strips may offer a potential solution for individuals seeking to alleviate snoring.
- Help to reduce the severity and frequency of snoring
- Improve sleep quality for both the snorer and their partner
- Can be helpful for people with nasal congestion or allergies
- Safe and available over-the-counter
It's essential to approach nasal strips cautiously, as their effectiveness varies from person to person. Not all snorers will find relief using this method.
Risks of using nasal strips
For most people, nasal strips are considered safe with minimal risks. However, some individuals may experience mild side effects, such as:
- Skin irritation
- A sensation of wanting to sneeze
- Skin injury when removing
How to use nasal strips
Proper application of nasal strips is crucial for their effectiveness. To use them effectively:
- Cleanse and dry. Start with clean skin on the nose to ensure adhesiveness.
- Position the strip. Carefully peel the backing off the nasal strip and place it horizontally just above the flare of each nostril.
- Press firmly. Gently press down on the strip to ensure it adheres securely.
- Open nostrils. Once applied, the strip should open the nostrils, creating a wider nasal passage.
Follow the manufacturer's guidelines carefully to ensure the proper usage of nasal strips. These guidelines provide specific instructions for optimal results. Nasal strips are designed in various sizes to accommodate different nose shapes and sizes. Therefore, selecting the proper-fitting nasal strips is essential for the best results.
Do nasal strips help with snoring?
The effectiveness of nasal strips in reducing snoring has received mixed reviews. In systematic reviews, many users have reported a positive decrease in snoring. However, studies conducted during observed sleep evaluations have shown limited to no improvement with the use of nasal strips.
It's worth noting that snoring stems from different underlying causes, and congestion or narrow nasal passages are only a couple of potential factors. So, if snoring persists even with the use of nasal strips, it is recommended to seek guidance from a healthcare professional. A thorough evaluation, including a sleep study, can help determine whether the snoring is linked to a more serious condition like obstructive sleep apnea, which requires specialized treatment.
Alternatives to nasal strips
If nasal strips are not effective in providing desired relief, there are other options to address snoring. Here are some alternatives to consider:
- Internal nasal dilators. These devices work similarly to nasal strips. However, they are designed to open up the nasal passages from the inside, helping with breathing and reducing congestion.
- Saline nasal sprays. Nasal sprays moisturize the nasal passages and reduce congestion, which may alleviate the snoring caused by dry or congested nasal passages.
- Wedge pillows. Elevating the head while sleeping potentially decreases snoring. A wedge pillow positions the head to help improve airflow and reduce the likelihood of the tongue falling backward, which contributes to snoring.
- Mouth guard or dental appliance. If jaw or tongue position issues cause snoring during sleep, a dentist can prescribe a mouth guard or dental appliance to address the problem.
- Nasal decongestants. These commonly used products may provide temporary relief from congestion and snoring. However, it's important to use them cautiously and follow medical guidance. Over-the-counter or prescription options are available for this purpose.
Nasal strips are a safe and effective way to reduce snoring in some people. However, they are not a cure for sleep apnea and may not be effective for everyone. Before using nasal strips, talking to a doctor first to rule out any underlying medical conditions is important.
- Merck Manual. Snoring.
- European Journal of Medical Research. Effect of the external nasal dilator Breathe Right on snoring.
- International Journal of General Medicine. External nasal dilators: definition, background, and current uses.
- Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology. Effects of nasal dilator strips on subjective measures of sleep in subjects with chronic nocturnal nasal congestion: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
- Advances in Therapy. Objective and Subjective Effects of a Prototype Nasal Dilator Strip on Sleep in Subjects with Chronic Nocturnal Nasal Congestion.
Show all references
- JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. A Comparison of Over-the-Counter Mechanical Nasal Dilators.