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What are Nasal Strips?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Feb 18, 2024
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Nasal strips are simple devices that are employed to help minimize snoring as well as open nasal passages when a cold or flu is present. In both scenarios, the strips make it easier for the individual to breathe with at least some degree of comfort. As a result, it is easier to get a good night’s rest without disturbing others in the home.

The configuration of most types of nasal strips is fairly simple. Most types consist of a thin rectangular body that is just long enough to reach across the area of the nose just above the nostrils. This thin body is usually made of flexible material. The underside is coated with an adhesive that makes it easy for the nasal strip to be placed into position and hold that position for several hours.

A breathing device of this type is applied to the exterior of the nose. By positioning the strip across the nose above the nostrils, it is possible to press the adhesive backing to the skin. When the strip in place, the thin body gently but firmly pulls the nostrils open. This in turn makes it easier for air to pass through the nostrils.

There are two main applications of nasal strips. The first has to do in minimizing the incidence of snoring. Because the strips help to open the nostrils, they work as a simple nasal dilator. The greater flow of air in and out of the nose means less noise when attempting to breathe. From this perspective, using the strips for snoring relief not only helps the individual achieve a deeper and more recuperative sleep, but also minimizes the noise that is likely to keep others sleeping in the same room for getting the rest they need.

A second application of nasal strips is to aid in breathing when a cold or the flu is present. Because nasal congestion is one of the most common symptoms of a cold or flu, using a nose strip to open the nostrils a little wider will make breathing easier. The strips not only help make it easier to deal with the cold during waking hours, but also make it possible to get a good night’s rest, one of the essentials when recovering from a cold.

Disposable nasal strips are found in most pharmacies, as well as supermarkets and discount retail stores. The low price for the strips make them widely available to people in any economic bracket, and are usually cheaper than many of the other anti-snoring products on the market today.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By burcidi — On May 25, 2012

@ddljohn-- I don't know honestly. I have friends who swear by nasal strips. I personally don't think they do anything at all. I used them for a week and they didn't improve my breathing. It was just uncomfortable and left an ugly mark on my nose when I removed them.

The idea behind nasal strips is that it has a thin metal piece inside the adhesive. So when it's placed on the nose, the metal is suppose to flatten out and pull the skin up. If breathing or snoring problems are due to narrow nasal passages, congestion or blockage, it's supposed to help. It will not help if the cause of breathing issues is respiratory like asthma.

It's up to you if you want to try nasal strips to stop snoring. I personally think it's a waste of money.

By candyquilt — On May 24, 2012

@ddljohn-- Yes, they do work. The adhesive on the strip is quite strong and it does pull up the skin to open up the airways.

I have sinus related congestion. I get sinus infections a lot and have trouble breathing because of it. Even when I use nasal sprays, I get congested half-way through the night. Ever since I've started using the nasal strips though, I breathe so much better! I actually get a full night's sleep when I use them.

The only downside to them is that the adhesive is hard to remove. I have dry skin and when I use the nasal strips every night, I get flaky, patchy skin on my nose. I wish it wasn't so hard on the skin, but I guess it wouldn't work then. Overall, I would say it is worth it, you should give them a try.

By ddljohn — On May 24, 2012

I have a snoring problem. I didn't even realize I snored until my wife told me. Apparently, I snore most of the night, especially when I'm sleeping on my back.

I've been seeing commercials for nasal strips on TV for a while now. I've never tried them though because they look way too simple to work. Can nasal strips really stop my snoring? Do they lift the skin enough to open up the nostrils as they claim to do?

Has anyone been using them? Do you think it's worth purchasing and would you recommend it? I need to find a solution for my snoring before my wife runs away to the next room!

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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