Snoring strips are one of the many options that are available to those who snore. They have been around for several years. However, research on their efficacy is limited.
Snoring involves noisy breathing while you sleep, and it can interfere with getting good rest for both you and your partner. Snoring occurs when airflow is obstructed. The obstruction may occur at the nose, or the back of the throat.
When an obstruction or narrowing occurs, air does not get into the throat or nose as well, and the airflow becomes turbulent. The result is the tissues in the back of the throat, including the uvula, can vibrate, which makes the snoring sound.
Snoring affects both men and women of all ages. Even children can snore. But it is more common as we age and the muscles and tissues in the back of the throat relax. The exact percentage of people that snore is not clear since not everyone knows they do it. But research published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine indicates that up to 45 percent of men and 25 percent of women report habitual snoring.
Snoring can occur only occasionally, or it might be every night. When snoring does occur, the noise and disruption can make sleeping difficult for your partner. It can also decrease the quality of your sleep.
There are several risk factors for snoring, such as having a deviated septum or enlarged tonsils. Other structural abnormalities that may block airflow, such as nasal polyps, might also be a risk factor for snoring. Snoring is also sometimes a symptom of sleep apnea, which caused brief pauses in breathing while you sleep. Click here to take a one minute online assessment to gauge your risk factor for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Even a cold or allergies, which block the nose can temporarily cause snoring.
Treating snoring is essential to get proper rest. Some people may be hesitant to get help for snoring because they think treatment is invasive, uncomfortable, or they just don’t know their options. One possible treatment for snoring, which might be effective, is snoring strips.
Snore strips are a type of nasal dilator that works from the outside to pull the nostrils open, which allows more space for air to flow into (1). Different brands of snore strips are available, but they all work the same way (2).
The snoring strips are small flexible bands of material that are worn on the outside surface of the nose (3). The underside of the snore strips has an adhesive material that allows it to stick on the skin. One strip is placed in the center of the nose, so it sits above the flare of each nostril.
Snore strips pull the sides of the nose to widen the nasal passage (4). The larger nasal passage improves airflow through the nose, and air turbulence decreases, resulting in reduced snoring.
The effectiveness of snoring strips may vary depending on the cause and extent of the obstruction. While the strips may lift the side of the nose, they do not help in every instance. For example, it’s possible they may fall off in the middle of the night.
They also do not treat underlying sleep disorders in which snoring is a symptom, such as sleep apnea (5). But when they work, they are a simple and noninvasive way to reduce snoring.
One advantage of snoring strips is they are drug-free. They are also available without a prescription, which is convenient. Snore strips usually have little to no side effects. Usually, the only side effect is possible skin irritation, and that is often mild. The adhesive on the underside of the strip has the potential to injure the skin when it is removed. But gently removing the strip may decrease the risk of irritation.
Studies appear to be mixed on the effectiveness of snore strips. So, are they worth a try? Maybe. Although snoring strips will not treat sleep disorders, they may decrease snoring in some cases. Since they usually do not cause side effects and are relatively affordable, it might be worth a try.
© 2020 American Sleep Association.