Can Nasal Strips Stop Snoring?

Q. Can nasal strips stop my snoring?

A. Possibly, if the cause of your snoring is nasal congestion, such as from a cold or allergies, or obstruction, such as from a deviated septum.

Also called external nasal dilators, nasal strips are sort of like stiff Band-Aids, consisting of adhesive tape with hard plastic splints. When you affix one across the bridge of your nose, it acts like a spring to pull your nostrils open slightly so they don’t collapse during inhalation, thus increasing airflow.

They may be worth a try, since they’re simple to use, noninvasive, and relatively inexpensive; the only risk is skin irritation.

Try this to see whether you’re a good candidate: Press one nostril closed and see if the other nostril collapses as you breathe in. If it does, see if propping open that nostril with your finger makes you breathe easier. If so, a nasal strip could help by similarly propping open your nostrils to increase airflow.

Don’t consider nasal strips a permanent fix, though, for some types of snoring. If you snore regularly, or if your snoring is irregular, very loud, or explosive, medical evaluation is recommended to identify and treat the underlying cause, such as allergies or a deviated septum.

There’s also no evidence that nasal strips treat a more serious cause of snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, which can have long-term adverse health consequences if left untreated.

Nasal Strips: Snore No More? was first published on BerkeleyWellness.