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Do Nasal Vents Help Nighttime Congestion?

One reader found a product to prop the nostrils open eased nighttime congestion and helped improve sleep.

During allergy season, many people are troubled with nighttime congestion. A stuffy nose can make it hard to breathe, and that in turn disrupts sleep. If a person chooses a decongestant nasal spray to manage this problem, he or she will need to be very careful not to use it for more than a few days. Otherwise, he might experience nose spray addiction. What other options are there to help clear up this problem?

SnoreCare Vents for Nighttime Congestion:

Q. Sometimes people write to you about nasal congestion at night. This happened frequently to me until I started using SnoreCare nasal vents. These really open my nasal passages and I no longer feel congested. I hope you will pass this hint along.

A. It comes as no surprise that nasal congestion could interfere with nighttime breathing (Georgalas, European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Sep. 2011).  Doctors generally prescribe steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase or a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for such problems.

Vents and Strips Can Ease Nasal Congestion at Night:

Nasal vents or nasal strips such as Breathe Right can improve nasal breathing (Camacho et al, Pulmonary Medicine, Dec. 13, 2016). However, they don’t do much for serious sleep apnea. Someone struggling with chronic nighttime congestion might need a stronger solution than such nasal dilators. If a CPAP machine is not an option, special exercises to strengthen the tongue and throat may be helpful (Camacho et al, Sleep, May 1, 2015).

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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  • Georgalas C, "The role of the nose in snoring and sleep apnoea: An update." European Archives of Otorhinolaryngology, Sep. 2011. DOI: 10.1007/s00405-010-1469-7
  • Camacho M et al, "Nasal Dilators (Breathe Right Strips and NoZovent) for Snoring and OSA: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Pulmonary Medicine, Dec. 13, 2016.
  • Camacho M et al, "Myofunctional therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Sleep, May 1, 2015. DOI: 10.5665/sleep.4652
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