Are nasal strips for snoring an effective solution?
Many New Zealanders suffer from the impacts of snoring. These include repercussions on physical and mental health, emotional wellbeing, personal safety (and that of others) and more. Habitual snorers must find effective ways to stop snoring for their wellbeing and relationships. There are several approaches to this, including, for some people, the use of nasal strips.
What are Nasal Strips for Snoring?
Nasal strips are an anti-snoring device worn during sleep. They are designed to work by opening the nostrils and thereby improving and enhancing the flow of air through the nose.
These devices are either external nasal strips or internal nasal dilators.
- External nasal strips have a stiff adhesive strip that is taped to the nose. They lift and pull the nostrils open from the sides of the nose.
- Internal nasal dilators are worn inside the nostrils like open plugs and hold each nostril open.
These nasal anti-snoring systems are designed to create more space for air to flow via the nostrils when breathing via the nose. It allows for sleeping with the mouth closed with an uninterrupted flow of air between the nose, the back of the throat, and the lungs. When this is achieved, the person should not, ideally, snore.
Nasal snoring represents a small percentage of overall snoring incidence. Most cases due to nasal obstruction result from congestion (due to allergies or viral illness like colds and flu), or issues like a deviated septum or narrow nostrils. Some people don’t have strong supportive tissues in the nose, leading to nostril collapse.
When breathing through the nose is compromised, mouth breathing is the default – and this is much more likely to cause snoring – snoring that is much more disruptive to the sleep of the snorer and others in their vicinity.
Do Nasal Strips Stop Snoring?
There is some evidence to support the use of nasal strips in some snorers. They only, however, help people whose snoring results from nasal issues.
- A 1997 Swedish study assessed 35 habitual snorers who did not have sleep apnoea over two weeks. The scientists in the sleep laboratory concluded that external nasal dilation using nasal strips was effective to reduce snoring and improve sleep quality for people whose snoring resulted from nasal stuffiness. This was achieved by decreasing their nasal airway resistance.
- A 2016 international literature review explored the results of using external nasal strips for people who snored or had sleep apnoea. Of 112 studies considered, 14 met the review criteria 147 patients were ultimately reviewed. It was concluded that nasal dilation had no provable benefit to sleep apnoea sufferers but could potentially improve nasal breathing in other snorers.
- A 2018 clinical trial by Allergy Asthma Clinical Immunology considered the effects of a particular brand of a nasal strip on nasal congestion and sleep quality. It found that the nasal strips did deliver a distinct improvement in sleep quality in people whose snoring arose from nasal congestion.
It’s important to understand, despite the above findings, that only a small percentage of snoring derives from nasal issues. Nasal strips are not considered effective for the majority of chronic snorers or for snoring that arises from the soft tissues of the mouth, tongue, or throat.
Pros of Nasal Strips:
- Safe to Use
- Few side effects
- May minimise snoring due to nasal congestion, allergies, etc
- Can be used for up to 12 hours at a time
Cons of Nasal Strips:
- Some people are allergic to medical adhesive
- Possible skin reaction from the adhesive
- May cause irritation or injury to the skin
- Must be positioned perfectly every time
- Some users may find them uncomfortable to use
- Not effective for non-nasal snoring
- Need to be purchased continuously as they are single-use
Only those snorers who snore because of nasal stuffiness, irritation, swelling, or partial obstruction may benefit from using nasal strips. For those snorers whose issues are based in the throat or mouth (the majority of snorers), nasal strips offer little benefit.
ApneaRX – the Effective Snoring & Sleep Apnea Solution
ApneaRx is among the most effective anti-snoring & Sleep Apnea (mild to moderate) solutions on the market today.
It is the NZ-based brand of a mandibular advancement device. Preferred by both snorers and sleep apnea patients worldwide and recommended by doctors, pharmacists, and sleep specialists, ApneaRx is both safe and comfortable to use.
ApneaRx works by directly addressing the actual anatomical cause of most snoring –the vibration of the soft palate and/or the base of the tongue. It gently moves the lower jaw slightly forward during sleep, opening up the airways to enable better airflow during breathing. This treats the symptoms associated with snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea allowing for a more peaceful and healthier night’s sleep.
Even mouth breathers benefit from using ApneaRx.