Nasal Strips For Snoring – Is It Really A Solution?

Nasal strips such as Breathe Right strips for snoring have been marketed and sold all over the world since 1992 and are becoming ever-more popular. Endorsed by NFL players, dilator strips (as nasal strips are often known) were created as part of the inventor’s search to find relief from his own sinus problems which were due to a deviated septum and chronic allergies. The concept of the drug-free nasal strip came into being in 1988 and by 1991 the product was ready for launch. Since its arrival on the market in 1992, it has become one of the top choices for those who suffer from sinus issues.

How Can A Stuffy Nose Lead To Snoring?

There are several factors taht result in snoring including aging, sleeping on your back, consuming alcohol before bed and obesity, however one of the most common is nasal congestion. When you breathe normally, the air will flow through your nose and airway without creating any sound, however when you sleep, your tongue and throat muscles begin to relax, partially blocking the airways. The air that tries to pass through your airways will then cause the uvula and soft palate to vibrate and this creates snoring. If you suffer from nasal congestion your airway will be even more blocked and this will only serve to worsen a snoring problem. Even if you are normally a quiet sleeper, if you have a stuffy nose you may begin to snore and if you are suffering from severe congestion, your risk of snoring is tripled.

Snoring Strips – How Do They Work?

snoring stripsSo how do nasal strips work? Nose strips for snoring are drug-free, non-prescription devices which mechanically open the nasal passages, reducing airflow resistance through your nasal passages and improving your ability to breathe through your nose. The spring-like strip is a flexible band like a Band-Aid. It has a special adhesive on its underside which allows it to stick to the skin above the flare of the nostrils. As the band tries to naturally return to its original shape, it causes the sides of the nose to be gently lifted, opening the nasal passages and providing relief from snoring. This is because the nose has two nostrils, or chambers, with a nasal valve behind each. These valves are very narrow and can be easily blocked causing an airflow problem. The nasal strips pull the cartilege walls of the nose open and this makes breathing much easier. There are several sizes and styles of nasal strip including clear varieties which can be removed more easily and therefore are best for those with dry or sensitive skin, and menthol varieties which have mentholated vapors encapsulated within microscopic beads which release vapors when the strip is scratched to aid breathing further. It is important, before applying a nasal strip, to wash the face thoroughly first as the adhesive cannot stick effectively to oily skin. Nasal strips can help in relieving a range of congestion problems including those caused by colds, allergies, deviated septums and other causes of sinus inflammation.

Can Nasal Strips Stop Snoring?

nasal strips for snoringDo Breathe Right strips work? The answer depends on the reasons why each individual snores. If you snore only because you have restricted nasal passages, you will probably find that nasal strips resolve the problem as if by magic as they help you to breathe better through your nose. However most snorers find that the source of their snoring does not originate from their nose but actually from their soft palate. The muscles and tissues in this area will relax when you are asleep, flopping around and vibrating against the tissues in the throat as the air goes through, resulting in the sound of snoring. Sometimes, the tissues can even block the airways causing a condition known as sleep apnea in which the individual will stop breathing for periods of time. This condition can cause hypertension, strokes and other severe health problems and should therefore be diagnozed and treated by a doctor.

Is There An Alternative?

snoring mouthpiecesIf you find that your snoring comes from a partially blocked airway, you will need a different product instead of a nasal strip which cannot address your specific problem. Nasal strips are only effective in resolving snoring problems that are purely related to nasal congestion or blocked nasal passages. An MAD (Mandibular Advancement Device), otherwise known as a snoring mouthpiece, may well be the best solution for your problem. These mouthpieces hold your lower jaw firmly in a forward position, causing the loose tissue to tighten and the muscles in the throat to be stretched preventing the vibration of loose tissues which results in snoring. There are two categories of MADs – over the counter devices and those that are prescription only. In the past, only prescription devices were available and were very expensive, however today devices can be purchased from many manufacturers and are a lot cheaper than those that are available on prescription only. They are usually produced from thermoplastic material which can be heated in boiling water to become pliable and therefore allow the user to achieve a customized fit at home. The average over the counter mouthpiece costs about $100 while a professionally fitted mouthpiece from a dentist costs around $1000. MAD devices are a very effective solution for snoring and have been proven to work in many studies over the last 30 years.