When Buying Nasal Dilators, Nose Vents or Nasal Strips – What Do I Need to Know?
There are a few synonyms for the word “nasal dilator”. You can, for instance, talk about nose vents against snoring or nose clips. But no matter what you call them, they are always used to gently widen the nostrils and keep them open. The nasal airways remain clear that way, which allows you to breathe deeply and at ease.
Normally, people breathe through the nose. You certainly know from your last cold how annoying it can be if you cannot do that. However, there are many people with impaired nasal breathing but who not not have a cold. You can find out if you are one of them by doing a simple test.
Nasal dilators can help you deal with nasal breathing issues. They gently widen the nostrils and thus ensure that there is less airway resistance in the nose. In other words, breathing air can flow through the nose into the lungs more easily. Once the body notices that nasal respiration functions again, it will automatically switch to (the much healthier) nose breathing.
Another method to solve the problem would be a surgery of the nose. It is usually used when the problem is located at the nasal septum or deeper in the nasal cavity (polyps or enlarged nasal concha).
If you don’t solve your nasal breathing problems, this can lead to snoring or intensify existing snoring. This happens when the breathing air which streams through the mouth forces the tissue of the soft palate to vibrate. Mouth breathing is far more unhealthy than nasal breathing.
Technically, there are two different approaches of nasal dilators to open the nostrils. Either they have the form of a small tube (cylindrical form) or that of a wing shape. While both forms are effective, there are notable differences: Wing-shaped nasal dilators tend to be more effective but somewhat less comfortable while tube-shaped nasal dilators are more comfortable but somewhat less effective. Whatever the form, the nose vents ensure that the nasal wings do not collapse. In particular in case of strong air intake, that would make nasal breathing very difficult.
Nasal Dilators Are Very Versatile
Nose dilators help, in the most general sense, against impaired nasal breathing. As that is a major snoring cause, nasal dilators are great anti-snoring devices. Moreover, nasal vents are also used in sports and for other strenuous activities.
- OSAS-patients: Nasal dilators can help OSAS-patients help reduce the severity of their breathing stops through better nasal respiration. They are, however, only suited as a supplement to other therapies (CPAP-therapy or snoring mouthpieces, for instance).
- Habitual (e. g. „primary“) snoring without anatomical particularities: In case of primary snoring, nasal dilators may improve nasal breathing. They enhance nasal airflow and can prevent the airways from contracting. This would otherwise lead to breathing air turbulences and vibrations at the tight spots.
- Persons with vestibular stenosis (nasal valve collapse):
A vestibular stenosis is triggered by unstable nasal wings which collapse (sag) during inhalation – narrowed nostrils make it difficult to breathe through the nose. A nasal dilator can help address this problem very well and strongly improves nasal respiration. Alternatively, nasal strips may also prevent snoring very effectively.
- Persons with rhinitis:
Also patients that suffer from a chronic form of rhinitis or an allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever) can help themselves by using nose vents (or nasal strips). The inflammation causes the airways to narrow, which then leads to impaired airflow and leads to problems with the outflow of secretions. A nasal dilator widens the constricted space. In such cases, it may be helpful to also clean the nose with a nasal rinse.
- Persons with allergies (pollen and dust allergy):
Persons, who have a pollen or dust allergy, find effective respiratory support in nose vents with an integrated breathing air filter. These nose vents come with a filter that absorbs pollutant particles, such as pollen, dust and smoke and keeps them away from your airways.
- Endurance athletes:
It has been scientifically proven that improved nasal breathing enhances performance – by up to 30%. That’s why nasal dilators are often used for endurance sports like jogging, cycling, hiking or climbing. Certain models are specifically designed for the needs of this target group.
Effective Against Nasal Snoring – and Mouth Snoring
On the question “How to stop snoring”, nasal dilators are indeed often an important component of the solution, but not always the right aid! A nasal dilator is the best way to prevent snoring caused by narrowed nasal airways, i. e. so-called nasal snoring. In case of mouth snoring, nose vents can be an excellent additional device. The main problem with oral snoring can only be fixed by using a snoring mouth guard (for mouth snoring). Such a mouth guard can only be used if you can breathe freely through the nose – this can be ensured by using a nasal dilator. Combining a snoring mouth guard with a nasal dilator is almost a “classic” among the snore-stoppers.
Nasal dilators come with very few side effects: They are limited to irritations of the n
With stop snoring cones, the side effects are limited to slight mucous membrane irritations which should normally subside after a month at the latest.
It depends on the nasal dilator’s size
If you are looking for a nasal dilator that is effective against snoring and also comfortable, you should choose the right size when buying it. A nasal dilator that is too big can quickly lead to an unpleasant feeling of pressure in the nose – patients then often stop using it. Conversely, if a nasal dilator comes to small, it won’t fit tightly enough and might, in many cases, fall out of the nose as you sleep at night. This can lead to huge frustrations (“it doesn’t work”). But these frustrations don’t have to be! It is a good idea to purchase a “starter-pack” of nasal dilators which include different sizes. This allows you to find out which size is the right for you – usually, there are refillment packages with only one size each.
Last but not least: A nasal dilator should be replaced after about every three months for hygienic reasons – even though the material is considerably more durable.