How to Use Nasal Strips for Snoring
Snoring is not necessarily a problem. Yet, if it becomes a regular occurrence, you might bother your partner as they try to fall asleep or in the middle of the night. Chronic snoring is associated with various health conditions and it can also seriously interrupt your own sleep. You may notice you feel drowsy as you go about your day, and you might not be entirely sure why.
So, how can you get a night of better sleep and quit snoring? Nasal strips for snoring might help. In this article, we dive into what nasal strips are, how they help with snoring, the pros and cons of them, and so much more.
What Are Nasal Strips?
Nasal strips kind of look like an oddly shaped bandage. In fact, they are about the same size as the average bandage. Yet, unlike a bandage, nasal strips are more rigid (yet flexible) bands that work to open the nostrils. They stick to your skin with 3M adhesive. That way, no matter how much you toss and turn at night, they stay on.
How Do Nasal Strips Work?
The strips have a spring-like effect. They want to maintain their original shape. Yet, the adhesive attached to your nose prevents this from happening. As such, the strip will pull up the sides of your nose, opening your nasal passages. In turn, you can breathe easier, even when your nose is inflamed or congested.
Generally, most nasal strips are applied to the bridge of your nose. Before application, you will want to clean your face and make sure the area is dry. This ensures the adhesive sticks to your skin. Then, you can simply remove the backing on the nasal strip and secure it above the flared part of your nose. Right away, you might notice that it is easier to breathe (that means it is working). This further means that you are less likely to snore since it relieves nasal blockage or congestion.
The Pros and Cons of Nasal Strips
Do nasal strips really work? For some people, yes! It really depends, and the only way to know for sure is to try them out yourself. However, these strips do not exactly come super cheap. They’re affordable but it’s definitely not like buying a package of bandages in terms of cost.
With this in mind, before you buy nasal strips, it pays to weigh the pros and cons. So, let’s take a look. What are the pros of nasal strips? What are the cons?
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- They can alleviate congestion.
- They can stop snoring.
- They are easy-to-use and apply.
- They come in various colors and sizes.
- They are more affordable than invasive surgery.
- You may experience skin irritation from the adhesive.
- They do not improve sleep apnea.
- They might not stop snoring altogether.
- They do not solve daytime breathing issues.
- For individuals with oily skin types, these may be tricky to use.
Who Should Use Nasal Strips?
Nasal strips are a great option for individuals who want help to prevent snoring in relation to congestion. This congestion may be caused by a cold, allergies, or even a deviated septum.
However, individuals with sleep apnea will likely find that nasal strips are not the answer. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing stops at certain points in the night and then re-starts. It’s usually not caused by any blockage in the nasal passageways, which means that nasal strips will not really help in these situations.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and find your snoring is waking you or your partner, this might be a good time to talk to your doctor about other options. Other treatment methods your doctor may explore include a sleep apnea machine (called a CPAP), which helps you sleep and breathe at night, or lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes may involve losing weight, quitting smoking, regular exercise, not sleeping on your back, and avoiding taking any sedatives before bed.
Further, you may want to talk to your doctor if:
- You experience daytime drowsiness.
- You continue to snore even with the use of nasal strips.
- Your partner is bothered by your snoring.
- Your partner notices you stop and start breathing during the night.
These may all be signs of sleep apnea if you have not already been diagnosed. Sometimes, your doctor may order a sleep study where a specialist will analyze your sleep patterns over the course of one night. This can help your doctor determine if sleep apnea is a concern or if anything else is going on.
For starters and if you are unsure about why you are snoring, you can try nasal strips and see if they help. If not, then it is definitely time to book a visit with your doctor.