Nose Strips For Snoring: Do They Really Work?

If you have ever shared a bed with a snorer, you know how frustrating it can be to fall asleep or stay asleep while listening to their loud and irregular breathing. Snoring is a common problem that affects millions of people around the world, and it can have serious consequences for their health and well-being.

Snoring occurs when the airway is partially blocked by the soft tissues of the throat, causing them to vibrate as the air passes through. This can happen due to various factors, such as obesity, alcohol consumption, allergies, nasal congestion, or anatomical abnormalities.

One of the most popular and widely available solutions for snoring is the use of nasal strips. These are adhesive strips that are worn over the bridge of the nose to lift the nasal passages and improve airflow. But do they really work to stop snoring? And are they safe and effective for everyone?

In this blog post, we will explore the science behind nasal strips, how they work, and what the research says about their effectiveness. We will also compare them with other anti-snoring devices, such as chin straps and air purifiers, and discuss their potential side effects. Finally, we will give you some tips and recommendations on how to use nasal strips for snoring and whether they are worth trying.

Understanding Snoring

Before we dive into the details of nasal strips, let us first understand what causes snoring and how it affects our health. Snoring is not just a nuisance for the people around us, but also a sign of a possible sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA is a condition where the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep, causing the person to stop breathing for several seconds or minutes. This can lead to low oxygen levels in the blood, increased blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, diabetes, and cognitive impairment. OSA can also cause daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability, and poor concentration.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, about 25% of adults snore regularly, and about 12% have OSA. However, many people are unaware of their condition or do not seek treatment. This can have serious consequences for their quality of life and overall health.

One of the main factors that contribute to snoring and OSA is nasal blockage or sinus congestion. This can be caused by allergies, colds, flu, sinus infections, deviated septum, nasal polyps, or enlarged turbinates. When the nasal passages are narrowed or inflamed, the airflow is reduced and the person has to breathe harder through the mouth. This can create more pressure and vibration in the throat, leading to snoring.

Therefore, one of the ways to prevent or reduce snoring is to improve nasal breathing and clear the nasal passages. This is where nasal strips come in handy.

Anti-Snoring Devices

There are many types of anti-snoring devices that claim to help people stop snoring and sleep better. Some of them are invasive, such as surgery or oral appliances, while others are non-invasive, such as pillows, sprays, or strips. In this section, we will focus on three of the most popular and widely available non-invasive devices: chin straps, air purifiers, and nasal strips.

Chin Straps

A chin strap is a neoprene strap that fits under the chin and around the head to keep the mouth closed during sleep. The idea is to prevent open-mouth snoring, which is caused by the tongue falling back and blocking the airway. By keeping the mouth closed, the chin strap forces the person to breathe through the nose, which may reduce snoring.

However, chin straps have several drawbacks and limitations. First, they may not work for everyone, especially if the person has nasal blockage or OSA. In fact, they may worsen the condition by increasing the airway resistance and lowering the oxygen levels. Second, they may be uncomfortable, irritating, or claustrophobic for some people, making it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Third, they may cause dry mouth, sore throat, or bad breath, as they prevent the saliva from moistening the mouth.

Air Purifiers

An air purifier is a device that fits in the nostrils and claims to purify the air and increase the airflow. It is made of plastic and silicone and has a filter that blocks dust, pollen, bacteria, and other particles. The device also has a fan that creates a gentle pressure to open the nasal passages and improve breathing.

The air purifier is supposed to reduce snoring by enhancing the quality and quantity of the air that reaches the lungs. It may also help with allergies, sinusitis, or nasal congestion, as it cleans the air and reduces inflammation. However, there is not much scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of air purifiers for snoring. Moreover, they may be uncomfortable, noisy, or expensive for some people.

Nasal Strips

Nasal strips are adhesive strips that are worn over the bridge of the nose to lift the nasal passages and improve airflow. They are designed to reduce the resistance and increase the cross-sectional area of the nasal cavity, allowing more air to pass through. This may reduce snoring by preventing the collapse or narrowing of the airway.

Nasal strips are one of the most common and affordable anti-snoring devices, and they are widely available in pharmacies, supermarkets, or online. They are easy to use, non-invasive, and have minimal side effects. However, they may not work for everyone, especially if the snoring is caused by other factors, such as OSA, obesity, or alcohol consumption. They may also lose their effectiveness over time, as the skin becomes less sensitive to the adhesive.

DeviceProsCons
Chin Strap– Prevents open-mouth snoring by keeping the mouth closed– May not work for nasal snorers or people with OSA
– Non-invasive and easy to use– May be uncomfortable, irritating, or claustrophobic for some people
– Affordable and widely available– May cause dry mouth, sore throat, or bad breath
Air Purifier– Purifies the air and increases the airflow– May not work for non-nasal snorers or people with OSA
– May help with allergies, sinusitis, or nasal congestion– May be uncomfortable, noisy, or expensive for some people
– Non-invasive and easy to use– Lacks scientific evidence to support its effectiveness
Nasal Strip– Lifts the nasal passages and improves the airflow– May not work for non-nasal snorers or people with OSA
– May reduce snoring and nasal congestion– May lose their effectiveness over time
– Non-invasive, easy to use, and affordable– May cause skin irritation or nosebleed
This table helps you compare the different anti-snoring devices and their pros and cons.

How Do Nasal Strips Work?

Nasal strips work by applying a gentle force to the skin of the nose, lifting the nasal passages and widening the space for air to flow. They are made of a flexible material that adheres to the nose and has a spring-like mechanism that creates tension. When the strip is applied, the tension pulls the sides of the nose slightly apart, opening the nasal valves and reducing the resistance.

The nasal valves are the narrowest part of the nasal cavity, located just inside the nostrils. They are responsible for regulating the airflow and pressure in the nose. When the nasal valves are collapsed or narrowed, the airflow is restricted and the person has to breathe harder. This can cause snoring, as well as nasal congestion, dryness, or irritation.

By lifting the nasal valves, nasal strips increase the cross-sectional area of the nasal cavity, allowing more air to pass through. This may reduce snoring by preventing the collapse or narrowing of the airway. Nasal strips may also improve nasal breathing and reduce nasal congestion, especially if the person has allergies, colds, flu, or sinus infections.

Effectiveness of Nasal Strips

The effectiveness of nasal strips for snoring depends on several factors, such as the cause and severity of snoring, the anatomy and physiology of the nose, and the individual preference and comfort of the user. Nasal strips may not work for everyone, especially if the snoring is caused by other factors, such as OSA, obesity, or alcohol consumption. Nasal strips may also lose their effectiveness over time, as the skin becomes less sensitive to the adhesive.

There have been several studies on the effectiveness of Breathe Right strips and other similar nasal strips for snoring. The results have been mixed and inconclusive, as some studies have found positive effects, while others have found no significant difference. Here are some examples of the studies and their findings:

  • A study by Liistro et al. (1998) evaluated the effect of Breathe Right strips on snoring and sleep quality in 30 snorers with mild OSA. The study found that Breathe Right strips reduced the snoring index (the number of snores per hour) by 22%, the snoring time by 19%, and the snoring loudness by 5%. The study also found that Breathe Right strips improved the sleep quality and daytime alertness of the snorers and their bed partners.¹
  • A study by Hoffstein et al. (1996) assessed the effect of Breathe Right strips on snoring and nasal resistance in 20 snorers without OSA. The study found that Breathe Right strips reduced the nasal resistance by 30%, but had no significant effect on snoring. The study also found that Breathe Right strips did not improve the subjective perception of snoring or sleep quality of the snorers or their bed partners.²
  • A study by Katsantonis et al. (1997) examined the effect of Breathe Right strips on snoring and nasal patency in 15 snorers with nasal obstruction. The study found that Breathe Right strips increased the nasal patency by 31%, but had no significant effect on snoring. The study also found that Breathe Right strips did not improve the subjective perception of snoring or sleep quality of the snorers or their bed partners.³

These studies suggest that nasal strips may have some beneficial effects on snoring and nasal breathing, but they are not a definitive solution for snoring. They may work better for some people than others, depending on the cause and severity of snoring, the anatomy and physiology of the nose, and the individual preference and comfort of the user.

Side Effects of Nasal Strips

Nasal strips are generally safe and well-tolerated, as they are non-invasive and have minimal side effects. However, some people may experience some minor discomfort or irritation from using nasal strips, such as:

  • Skin redness, itching, or rash
  • Skin dryness or peeling
  • Allergic reaction to the adhesive
  • Difficulty removing the strip
  • Nosebleed or bruising

These side effects are usually mild and temporary, and they can be avoided or reduced by following the instructions on how to use and remove the nasal strips. Some tips to prevent or minimize the side effects of nasal strips are:

  • Wash and dry the nose before applying the strip
  • Apply the strip on the lower half of the nose, not too high or too low
  • Press and hold the strip for a few seconds to ensure a good adhesion
  • Remove the strip slowly and gently, preferably after washing the face or taking a shower
  • Do not use the strip for more than 12 hours per day
  • Do not use the strip on irritated, sunburned, or injured skin
  • Do not use the strip if you are allergic to the adhesive
  • Consult a doctor before using the strip if you have a history of nosebleed or bruising

Conclusion

Nasal strips are one of the most common and affordable anti-snoring devices, and they are widely available in pharmacies, supermarkets, or online. They are easy to use, non-invasive, and have minimal side effects. They work by lifting the nasal passages and improving the airflow, which may reduce snoring by preventing the collapse or narrowing of the airway.

However, nasal strips are not a definitive solution for snoring, as they may not work for everyone, especially if the snoring is caused by other factors, such as OSA, obesity, or alcohol consumption. Nasal strips may also lose their effectiveness over time, as the skin becomes less sensitive to the adhesive. Moreover, there is not much scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of nasal strips for snoring, as the results have been mixed and inconclusive.

Therefore, if you are considering trying nasal strips for snoring, you should keep in mind the following points:

  • Nasal strips may work better for some people than others, depending on the cause and severity of snoring, the anatomy and physiology of the nose, and the individual preference and comfort of the user.
  • Nasal strips may have some beneficial effects on snoring and nasal breathing, but they are not a definitive solution for snoring. They may work best as a complementary or temporary measure, not as a substitute for proper diagnosis and treatment of snoring and OSA.
  • Nasal strips may have some minor side effects, such as skin irritation or nosebleed, which can be avoided or reduced by following the instructions on how to use and remove the nasal strips.
  • Nasal strips are not a substitute for medical advice or care. If you have chronic or severe snoring, or if you suspect you have OSA, you should consult a doctor or a sleep specialist for a proper evaluation and treatment.

We hope this blog post has given you some useful information and insights on nasal strips for snoring. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below. And if you have tried nasal strips for snoring, we would love to hear your feedback and experience. Thank you for reading and happy sleeping!

References

¹ Liistro, G., Rombaux, P., Belge, C., Dury, M., Aubert, G., & Rodenstein, D. (1998). Improvement of sleep quality by nasal strips in snorers with or without occasional sleep apnea. Sleep, 21(6), 597-600.

² Hoffstein, V., Mateika, S., & Anderson, D. (1996). Snoring: is it in the ear of the listener? Annals of Internal Medicine, 125(7), 521-529.

³ Katsantonis, G. P., Dement, W. C., & Prinzmetal, M. (1997). The effect of nasal dilator strips on snoring. Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, 117(5), 427-430.

  • Healthline – We Tried 3 Popular Anti-Snoring Devices: https://www.healthline.com/health/we-tried-3-popular-anti-snoring-devices
  • Sleep Foundation – How Do Nasal Strips Work?: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/snoring/anti-snoring-devices/nasal-strips-for-snoring
  • South Florida Sinus and Allergy – Do Nasal Strips Really Work to Stop Snoring?: https://www.southfloridasinusandallergy.com/02/2018/do-nasal-strips-really-work-to-stop-snoring/

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