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Nasal Strips vs. Nasal Dilators: Which Is Right For Tackling Snoring?

Snoring is a fairly common condition. Most people snore occasionally, especially when they are extremely tired or when they drink before bed. Due to the fact that it’s so common, it’s considered a natural and harmless occurrence by many and is often reduced to a humorous anecdote that can be shared during breakfast.

The fact is that snoring can severely impact your sleep quality and can lead to a number of health problems in the long term. In many cases, it can also be a sign of a more serious and potentially dangerous underlying condition. It can also keep your partner up at night, which can affect their health and potentially damage your relationship with them. It’s also unattractive.

If you have a snoring problem, you might be able to find relief by using anti-snoring devices like nasal strips and internal nasal dilators. These devices can reduce snoring, improve your sleep quality, and help you get a good night’s sleep.

In this article, we take a detailed look at nasal strips and nasal dilators, how they work, how effective they are, and the steps you should take to find a permanent solution to your snoring problem.

Also read: Can Anti-Snoring Devices Really Fix My Snoring?

Understanding Snoring

Snoring is a condition that is characterized by the vibration of respiratory structures in your throat during sleep. It occurs when the airflow through your nose and throat is partially restricted during sleep, which causes the floppy and relaxed tissues in the airway to vibrate, resulting in a distinctive snoring sound.

The most common factors that can contribute to snoring include obesity, alcohol and sedatives, sleep position, anatomical abnormalities, and nasal congestion caused by allergies, sinus infections, or a deviated septum. Snoring can also be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea – a serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing multiple times during sleep and can be potentially dangerous if left untreated.

Potential Health Complications of Chronic Snoring

Chronic snoring can lead to several complications – impacting you as well as those around you. These include:

Fatigue and Daytime Sleepiness: Snoring can disrupt normal sleep patterns and prevent you as well as your partner from getting restful sleep. It can lead to daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. It can severely affect your performance at work and increase the risk of workplace accidents.

Impaired Cognitive Function: Sleep disturbances caused by chronic snoring can impair your cognitive function and affect your memory, attention, and decision-making capabilities.

Sleep Apnea: Loud and persistent snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea – a serious sleep disorder where breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. It can lead to several complications including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

What is a Nasal Strip?

A nasal strip – also referred to as a nasal dilator strip, nasal congestion strip, external nasal dilator, nose patch, or nose tape – is a bandage-like device that can be applied externally on your nose to reduce snoring. It’s designed to help you breathe easily by opening the nasal passages and improving airflow through the nose.

How Do Nasal Strips Work?

A nasal strip contains adhesive on one side and has elastic bands embedded in it. You can apply it along the bridge of your nose – just like you would apply a band-aid. Once applied, the elastic bands attempt to straighten out, lift the sides of your nose, and pull your nostrils apart. The lifting action physically widens your nasal passages, which allows more air to flow in and out of your nose.

By widening the nasal passages, nasal dilator strips decrease the resistance to airflow, which can alleviate nasal congestion, improve your breathing, and reduce the intensity of snoring to a significant extent. If you have a severe case of nasal congestion, you can opt for extra-strength nasal strips, which have an additional band embedded in them and can provide stronger relief from nasal congestion.

Pros and Cons of Using Nose Patches for Snoring


  • They are non-invasive.
  • They can provide quick relief from nasal congestion.
  • They are available in various sizes and designs and can fit different nose shapes.
  • Since they are only meant for external applications, there is no risk of dependency. You can use them as and when you need them.


  • They can only be used once and are not suitable for reuse.
  • If you have sensitive skin, the adhesive in the strips can cause irritation and redness. It is one of the reasons why you should use nasal strips made of hypoallergenic material.
  • Since they are worn externally, they can draw attention to your nose and can make you feel awkward – especially in public settings.

What is a Nasal Dilator?

A nasal dilator – also referred to as an internal nasal dilator, nasal dilator clip, or nasal stent – is a device that can be inserted into your nostrils to reduce snoring. Just like a nasal strip, a nasal dilator physically widens your nasal passages to improve airflow and reduce snoring.

How Do Nasal Dilators Work?

Nasal dilators are small in size, soft, and flexible. They are designed to fit comfortably inside your nasal passages. Once inserted, the dilator expands and gently pushes against the walls of your nasal passages. This expansion motion physically widens your nostrils from the inside, which allows for improved airflow.

If you have a snoring problem that is caused by nasal congestion or obstruction, internal nasal dilators can potentially reduce the intensity of your snoring by improving airflow through your nose.

Pros and Cons of Using Nasal Dilators for Snoring


  • They are designed to provide support from the inside and can be more effective in improving airflow compared to nasal strips.
  • They can fit snugly inside your nostrils and are unlikely to draw attention to your nose.
  • They are more durable and are designed for regular use, unlike nasal strips which are meant to be replaced after each use.
  • They are available in a wide range of designs and materials, which can make it easier for you to choose a device that comfortably fits into your nose.


  • Having a foreign object inside your nostrils can cause a sense of discomfort – especially when you use it for the first time.
  • The device needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria.
  • They can cause irritation and dryness inside the nostrils in some cases.

Other Remedies Available for Snoring

Apart from nasal strips and nasal dilators, there are a number of other remedies available for snoring. These include:

Anti-Snoring Pillows: These are ergonomically designed pillows that can provide extra support to your head and neck so that your airways are not obstructed during sleep. They also encourage side-sleeping, which can reduce snoring to a significant extent.

Mandibular Advancement Devices: These are dental appliances that can be worn in the mouth to reposition your jaw and tongue to keep the airway open. They are commonly used to treat snoring caused by the relaxation of throat tissues.

Tongue Stabilizing Devices: These are devices that can be placed over your tongue and held in position by suction. They can prevent your tongue from collapsing and falling backward into your throat and obstructing the airway.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine: It’s a device that is designed to deliver a steady stream of oxygenated air through a mask in order to prevent airway collapse, which can reduce snoring to a great extent.

Apart from this, if you have sleep apnea, you can benefit from myofunctional therapy – a type of treatment that focuses on improving the function and coordination of your face, mouth, and throat muscles. It can strengthen your face, mouth, and throat muscles, improve muscle tone, enhance oral posture, and reduce mouth breathing, which can reduce the risk of airway obstruction and snoring. While myofunctional therapy exercises for sleep apnea cannot provide permanent relief, they can be used as a complementary therapy to address the factors that contribute to the condition.

Can Nasal Strips and Dilators Provide Permanent Relief for Snoring?

No. While nasal strips and dilators can be effective in the short term, they cannot provide permanent relief due to various reasons. These include:

Limited Scope

Nasal strips and dilators have a limited scope and only address specific aspects of snoring like nasal obstruction, congestion, and nasal valve collapse. If your snoring is caused by issues related to your soft palate or uvula, these devices might not be effective at all.

Tolerance and Adaptation

In some cases, your body might adapt to the use of nasal strips and dilators over time. If the tissues in your nose adjust to the constant pressure, the effectiveness of these devices might decrease significantly.

Nasal Congestion Variability

Nasal congestion can vary based on factors like allergies, weather, or illness. When congestion levels change, the effectiveness of nasal strips and dilators might fluctuate and provide inconsistent relief.

Underlying Conditions

If your snoring problem is caused by an underlying condition like nasal polyps, anatomical abnormalities like deviated nasal septum, or sleep apnea, nasal strips and dilators might be of little to no use, as they are not designed to address the root cause of these conditions.

In short – no matter how effective nasal strips and dilators might be in the short term, they cannot cure your snoring problem or provide permanent relief from the underlying conditions causing it. If you want to stop snoring, you need to consult with an experienced ENT doctor.

Importance of Consulting with an Experienced ENT Doctor for Snoring

Diagnosing the Cause of Your Snoring Problem

Consulting with an ENT doctor is extremely important for finding permanent relief for snoring. The doctor can examine you, pinpoint the exact cause of snoring, and develop a targeted and effective treatment plan.

Choosing the Right Treatment

An experienced ENT doctor can offer a wide range of treatment options – ranging from medical management to non-invasive solutions and surgical interventions. Depending on the severity of your snoring problem, the underlying condition causing it, and your overall health, they can recommend the right treatment for you.

Follow-Up Care and Prevention of Recurrent Problems

An ENT doctor can monitor the progress of the chosen treatment and make necessary adjustments to ensure its effectiveness. They can provide valuable guidance on lifestyle modifications and habits that can prevent snoring and sleep disorders in the long term.

On the whole, consulting with an ENT doctor is the best way to get permanent relief from snoring and improve your overall quality of life.

Also read: Snoring Strips: Do They Actually Work?

Looking for a Permanent Solution to Your Snoring Problem? We Can Help You

Snoring and sleep disorders can make it impossible for you to get a good night’s sleep. If left untreated, it can lead to potentially dangerous complications that can impact your physical and mental health significantly.

At Florida Sinus & Snoring Specialists, we are dedicated to helping people sleep well and live well. We work tirelessly to address every patient’s needs and devise personalized treatment plans to achieve the best possible results.

Our founder Dr. Lee Mandel is a leading expert in a wide range of minimally invasive, highly advanced treatments for snoring, sleep apnea, and other related conditions and is committed to providing the highest level of support and care needed for his patients to lead a healthy and happy life. Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Mandel is one of the leading ENT doctors in Florida and has a track record of success in the field of otolaryngology that few others can boast of.

We offer proven and effective treatments – ranging from our proprietary Minimally Invasive Palatal Stiffening (MIPS) procedure to treat snoring problems caused by problems in the soft palate or uvula to turbinate reduction, concha bullosa resection, septoplasty, nasal polyp removal, ablation of septal swell bodies, and many more. Our treatments are minimally invasive, completely safe, and have provided permanent relief to thousands of patients over the years.

If you are struggling with snoring, sleep disorders, or sinus-related problems, do not wait to get the medical care you need. With the right treatment, you can get permanent relief from your problems and lead a healthy, happy life. Call us today at 954-983-1211 or contact us online to talk to one of our renowned South Florida sleep doctors.