The narrowest area of the nose is the internal nasal valve and obstruction can cause airflow trouble. A review article 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, B.S., of the University of California-Irvine, and coauthors generated a database of 33 available over-the-counter dilators using medical literature and internet searches.
The dilators were classified into four categories based on how they worked: 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.
"Our findings suggest that external nasal dilator strips and nasal clips effectively relieve obstruction of the internal nasal valve and may be an alternative to surgical intervention in some patients," the review concludes.
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