Categorized | Features, Health

How Do Nasal Dilators Improve Snoring?

Devices Open Nose to Make Breathing Easier

By Brandon Peters, M.D., About.com Guide

If you are looking for ways to stop snoring, you may be interested in learning how nasal dilators can help improve your breathing during sleep. Nasal dilators work by opening the nostril or nasal passage to improve airflow through the nose.

There are two types of nasal dilators: those that open the nostrils from the outside and those that dilate the nostril from the inside. The external dilator often consists of a stiff strip that is applied to the outside surface of the nose with adhesive, much like a stiffened Band-Aid. One popular brand is Breathe Right nasal strips. It works by pulling the nostrils open, easing breathing through your nose and reducing snoring.

A study of 30 snorers found that an external nasal dilator is effective in reducing the intensity of snoring as measured by a sleep study, or polysomnogram, in 73 percent of people. These dilators worked best if the snorers did not have another condition affecting their breathing during sleep, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Other studies have found more mixed results in how effective these treatments can be.

Another alternative is an internal nasal dilator, which is inserted into the nostrils and remains in place during sleep. Unfortunately, a study of 15 snorers with polysomnography found minimal improvement in the frequency and duration of snoring. This relatively small study included many obese patients, and this may have impacted the device’s effectiveness.

Aside from a possible skin reaction from the adhesive used with the external nasal dilators, there are likely few risks for adverse side effects with either of these products. In general, nasal dilators are safe, easy to use, and they may be a reasonable option in those who snore despite attempting other conservative treatments. However, nasal dilators may not be right for you, especially if you have sleep apnea. For more information, speak with your doctor.

Sources:

Hoffstein, V et al. “Effect of nasal dilation on snoring and apneas during different stages of sleep.” Sleep 1993; 16:360.

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Devices Open Nose to Make Breathing Easier

By Brandon Peters, M.D., About.com Guide

If you are looking for ways to stop snoring, you may be interested in learning how nasal dilators can help improve your breathing during sleep. Nasal dilators work by opening the nostril or nasal passage to improve airflow through the nose.

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There are two types of nasal dilators: those that open the nostrils from the outside and those that dilate the nostril from the inside. The external dilator often consists of a stiff strip that is applied to the outside surface of the nose with adhesive, much like a stiffened Band-Aid. One popular brand is Breathe Right nasal strips. It works by pulling the nostrils open, easing breathing through your nose and reducing snoring.

A study of 30 snorers found that an external nasal dilator is effective in reducing the intensity of snoring as measured by a sleep study, or polysomnogram, in 73 percent of people. These dilators worked best if the snorers did not have another condition affecting their breathing during sleep, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Other studies have found more mixed results in how effective these treatments can be.

Another alternative is an internal nasal dilator, which is inserted into the nostrils and remains in place during sleep. Unfortunately, a study of 15 snorers with polysomnography found minimal improvement in the frequency and duration of snoring. This relatively small study included many obese patients, and this may have impacted the device’s effectiveness.

Aside from a possible skin reaction from the adhesive used with the external nasal dilators, there are likely few risks for adverse side effects with either of these products. In general, nasal dilators are safe, easy to use, and they may be a reasonable option in those who snore despite attempting other conservative treatments. However, nasal dilators may not be right for you, especially if you have sleep apnea. For more information, speak with your doctor.

Sources:

Hoffstein, V et al. “Effect of nasal dilation on snoring and apneas during different stages of sleep.” Sleep 1993; 16:360.