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SLEEP STUFF: Anti-snoring nasal products

For some people, the worst thing about their sleeping life truly is their snoring. It’s loud enough to keep their sleeping partner awake, and it leads to discomfort in the nasal tissues and airway, dry mouth and sore throat.

For those who snore but do not have sleep apnea*, the options for treatment are a bit different. It may be that they have other issues causing their airway resistance, such as a deviated septum, chronic allergies, narrow passageways or other physiological problems, such as overlarge tonsils or swollen turbinates.

Many of these people qualify for surgical approaches to repair their physiological challenges, but these can be expensive procedures, difficult for adults to recover from and may still not completely eradicate the problem.

Treatment of allergies is generally limited to nasal steroid sprays and medications, yet chronic post-nasal drip associated with allergies–even when treated–can still contribute to snoring.

There are small companies out there manufacturing various kinds of mechanical devices which promise to help physically open up the nasal passages via the nostrils in order to facilitate better breathing.

Some users swear by these products, while others try them and find no relief. Fortunately, most of them are inexpensive and promise to be a one-time purchase, so if they do work, the promise of a simple inexpensive solution delivers.

Listed below are four products out on the market that have been created to assist those people with sleep breathing problems that are not related to apnea or upper airway resistance that can be linked to a clinically identified respiratory system condition.

NASAL DILATORS
These products use plastic or medical grade stainless steel with silicone to physically widen, or dilate, the nostrils in order to increase airflow while sleeping. The applications vary, but all of them require inserting a portion of the dilator into the nostrils. The user adjusts the device following instructions provided by the manufacturer to achieve a widening of the nasal passages. Some of these devices are meant to be cleaned and reused repeatedly, while others are disposable and recommended for up to three uses in a row before disposing. These products are generally marketed toward people who struggle with nasal congestion, allergies, deviated septum or sinusitis, all of which can interfere with breathing during sleep. Price ranges are all across the map; cheaper dilators tend to be all-plastic and disposable, while more expensive ones that incorporate stainless steel wire run closer to $30. Some brands available include Airmax, BrezClipAir, NozoventRespitec, Rhyno and SleepRight. FDA approval depends upon the product.

NOSE CONES
These are a different variety of device which are shaped exactly as they sound, like tiny conical shaped cage-like inserts for the nostrils. They also purport to prevent nasal collapse while sleeping and can be found in both disposable and reusable options. Some brands available include Max-Air, SinusCones and Snorepin. FDA approval depends upon the product.

NASAL STRIPS
You’re probably most familiar with these products, BreatheRight being the most popular brand. These external nasal passage wideners are applied across the bridge of the nose, and usually incorporate tension from the adhesive with or without a wire insert to stretch open the upper passage of the nose. They come in a wide variety of options, including some with fragrances, color choices, variations in strength and special adhesive for sensitive skin.

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*The only way to know whether a snoring condition is related to sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep evaluation from a sleep health professional. Not all snorers have sleep apnea and not all people with sleep apnea snore. SHC encourages its readers to seek the advice of a medical professional and resist the urge to diagnose themselves. 

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A friendly reminder that links to websites offering products does not imply endorsement by SleepyHeadCENTRAL.com.

SleepyHeadCENTRAL strongly encourages people with ongoing sleep health problems to approach a medical professional to determine appropriate differential diagnoses and treatment. This post, like all other posts on SHC, is not intended to substitute for medical advice.  

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