How to Use a Nasal Dilator to Stop Snoring

Many people have been using nasal dilator strips for years to help improve snoring issues, and for a good reason: They help.

man sleeping on couch

These nasal dilator strips are generally made from adhesive material that is bonded to a spring-like band. The band is designed to make the strip spring into a flattened position.

Once the strip adheres to the nose, outward tension holds the nasal cavity open to increase airflow which makes breathing easier and reduces snoring.  Nasal dilators are one of the top snoring aids that can be complementary therapy with other treatments.

Using Nasal Dilator Strips is Easy

Clean and dry the outside of your nose to assure your nose is free from oil, water, makeup, and/or dirt buildup that could cause the adhesive strips to fall off.

Locate the sinus cavity on your nose which is easily found by running your fingers down the nasal bone between your eyes. Slightly press on the nasal bone as you move your fingers down toward your nostrils.

When you feel the soft spot just below the nasal bone, you’ve found the sweet spot for the strip. It’s important to place the strip right below the nasal bone for maximum dilation.

Remove the adhesive protection strip, just like you would for a band-aid, and place the strip right in that sweet spot. Remember, the location of the spot is different for everyone, so finding it is important.

Press the strip firmly down in the desired location and gently rub it until it’s firmly stuck. The strip may curl at the edges throughout the night, but don’t worry that’s normal.

To help remove the strip in the morning, simply wash or moisten your face. The moisture will help the strip’s adhesive dissolve. Try to avoid quickly removing the strip. The adhesive on these strips is quite strong, therefore a quick removal could tear or irritate the skin.

Internal Plastic and Silicon Dilators

I’ve reviewed many over-the-counter nasal dilators.  The dilators get inserted directly into the nasal cavity.  They don’t have any of the problems related to the external adhesive strips, and they are more inconspicuous than external dilators.

nostrils of nose

To use a plastic nasal dilator, rinse it under warm water. This will help soften the dilator, making it more flexible. The flexibility will help it form to the inside of your nostrils and will allow you to bend it easily.

These dilators have two sides, usually shaped like wings of funnels, and the main body area that pinches the device between the nostrils bridge. Insert one of each dilator side into each nostril, and push up until the body if firmly set against the bridge. If needed, remove the dilator and pull the wings apart at the base, using your thumbs and forefingers until it is secure in your nose and allows regular airflow.

Gently tug on the dilator to make sure it’s firmly in place. If it easily falls out, then remove and adjust as necessary with fingers until it stays firmly in place.

Theses dilators are also generally reusable. After use, simply clean with mild soap and warm water.

Modern Stainless-Steel Dilators

There are new options for external nasal dilators on the market. These new dilators work using the same principle as the dilator strips, but they are externally mounted, generally stainless steel devices, that hold the nostrils open. Although they look less attractive than the nasal strips, they have some advantages because they work independently of adhesive.

There are two main types of stainless-steel dilators on the market. Oxy-Aid is one example, and it is shaped like the bridge section of eyes glasses and clips onto the nose. Two small balls wrap around the nose and are inserted into the nostrils to help open them throughout the night.

The other type of stainless-steel dilator uses a head harness and elastic straps. The straps have small stainless hooks that wrap around the head and hook into the inside of each nostril, holding them open for increased airflow. The Rhyno Clip is one example of this harness dilator on the market today.

Using the stainless strip dilator is simple. Just wash your nose, and clip the dilator wherever is most comfortable somewhere between the nasal bone and nostrils. Insert the curved ends into the nostril cavities to test the overall feeling. If the strip needs adjustment, remove and carefully bend the stainless frame with your fingers. Repeat this process until your desired level of comfort is reached.

In the morning, just remove the strip and wash. It is reusable.

A harness dilator utilizes an elastic harness that goes around the back of your scalp. The strap has multiple adjustment points to loosen or tighten it as needed. Just place the strap on the top of your head, then using your fingers and thumbs, pull the straps with the hook ends around your head, just above your ears, and place the hooks inside each nostril. Use the adjustment points to tighten or loosen the straps as needed.

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