Nose/Nasal Strips (for congestion relief): FSA Eligibility

Nose/Nasal Strips (for congestion relief): eligible with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Nose/Nasal strips are eligible for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Nose and nasal strips are not eligible for reimbursement with a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What are nose strips?
A nasal strip, external nasal dilator strip or nasal dilator strip is a type of adhesive bandage with embedded plastic ribs or splints that is applied across the bridge of the nose and sides of the nostrils, to assist in keeping the airway open. 

They are believed to make breathing easier and for that reason are used during athletic exertion and as an aid to reduce congestion or to prevent snoring.] Various studies have not indicated that they have a performance-enhancing effect.

In humans, the nasal valve is the narrowest part of the nasal aperture and when exercising, this area is subjected to negative pressure and becomes smaller. Nasal strips adhere to the skin, holding open the anterior nasal aperture and prevent it from collapsing. When properly applied, they lift and widen the space in the nasal passage. They are a drug-free method to maintain airway flow and are available as an over the counter product. They have no reported side effects other than possible skin irritation from the adhesive.

Studies indicate that they are useful in increasing nasal cavity volume in the front three centimeters of the human nose, and for that purpose could be an alternative to decongestant nose sprays, but nasal strips are not particularly helpful for congestion in the posterior nasal apertures. They also have been shown to reduce snoring loudness and improve quality of sleep. 

Subjects wearing the strips in tests indicated that they believed that the strips helped them breathe more easily, and they are of particular interest to those human athletes who have to wear a mouthguard and need to be able to breathe more through their nostrils than their mouths. 

Studies have not necessarily demonstrated that athletic performance is increased, but people wearing them seem to have far less dyspnea or shortness of breath while exercising.


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