Some Over-the-Counter Nasal Strips and Clips Found To Be Effective Dilators Interview with:
Christopher Badger, MS3
UC Irvine School of Medicine Which over-the-counter mechanical nasal dilators are effective at relieving nasal valve obstruction?

Response: In this systemic review, 33 over-the-counter mechanical nasal dilators were identified and classified by mechanism. Ten peer reviewed articles identified six effective devices. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: External nasal dilators and nasal clips may be an effective treatment for the relief of nasal valve obstruction. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research should focus on the efficacy of nasal stents and septal stimulators. Another area of study would be to directly compare surgery to over-the-counter nasal dilators. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Anatomic nasal obstruction is a common patient complaint. The traditional treatment of nasal obstruction remains surgery, though many over-the-counter nasal dilators attempt to relieve nasal obstruction without surgery. Though past research examining the efficacy of these devices exists, no exhaustive study examined of the current products on the markets and attempted to classify these devices by mechanism.

We identified four basic product designs and ten studies examining the efficacy of available devices. Of the products available, six were shown to be effective. By categorizing the existing products and identifying their efficacy we hoped to provide physicians with the information they need to recommend these devices to patients.

Our conclusion is that external nasal dilator strips and nasal clips are effective devices that should be utilized in patients before subjecting patients to the risk of surgery. While there is one study demonstrating the efficacy of nasal stents further study of both nasal stents and septal stimulators is required. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Kiyohara N, Badger C, Tjoa T, Wong B. A Comparison of Over-the-Counter Mechanical Nasal Dilators: A Systematic Review. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. Published online June 30, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2016.0291.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on July 1, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD