Review Article Compares Over-the-Counter Nasal Dilators


It is the narrowest part of the nose that can cause obstruction and airflow trouble.

This nasal area that is most likely to obstruct breathing is the internal nasal valve. An article recently published online by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery compares over-the-counter mechanical nasal dilators for their efficacy in dilating the internal nasal valve to improve nasal airflow.

Christopher Badger, BS, of the University of California-Irvine and coauthors generated a database of 33 available over-the-counter dilators. They used medical literature and internet searches.

Dilators were classified into four categories.

The classification method used by Badger was based on how the nasal dilators worked. The categories were external nasal dilators worn over the bridge of the nose, internal nasal stents placed into each nostril, nasal clips placed over the nasal septum, and septal stimulators that apply pressure to the nasal septum to increase circulation in the area and promote nasal passage opening.

Which dilator was found to work best?

The findings of this research suggest that external nasal dilator strips and nasal clips effectively relieve obstruction of the internal nasal valve. These strips and nasal clips “were found to effectively relieve obstruction of the internal nasal valve and may be an alternative to surgical intervention in some patients.”

Source: Medical News Today,


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