Commercial Snoring Aids Put to the Test

Study Casts Doubt on Effectiveness of Commercial Snoring Treatments

From the WebMD Archives

Sept. 19, 2003 -- Searching the Internet or your local drugstore for snoring aids isn't likely to help you (or your mate) sleep better at night. But some treatments may take time to work.

A head-to-head comparison of three of the most popular over-the-counter snoring treatments shows none of the products had any significant effect in easing snoring compared with using nothing at all.

"These easily available, popular commercial snoring aids don't work," says researcher Peter Michaelson, MD, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon at Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio.

Michaelson says previous studies of nonprescription snoring aids have only measured the subjective effects of the various products by asking how users or their spouses felt they worked. But this study used objective measurements from an at-home sleep monitoring device to compare the effectiveness of the snoring aids as well as subjective measurements.

The snoring aids tested included a lubricating mouth spray (Snorenz), nasal dilator strips (Breathe Right Strips), and an ergonomically shaped pillow (Snore-No-More).

Snoring Aids Put to the Test

In the study, 37 men and women who complained of snoring that disturbed them and their sleeping partner used each of the devices for one night, followed by a night of sleeping without the use of any snoring treatment.

Of the three products tested, only the nasal strips indicated that the product should be used for six consecutive nights to achieve results. But with the design of the study and the average consumer in mind, Michaelson said he decided to test each product for one night only.

Researchers found no significant improvements in four objective snoring measurements, such as proportion of total snoring originating from the soft palate -- where most snoring originates -- and snoring loudness.

The results of the study will be presented next week at the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Annual Meeting in Orlando.

Michaelson says that without being evaluated by a medical professional, it's impossible for people to know what the source of their snoring is, and it's the source of the snoring that should determine the course of treatment.