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Over-the-counter snoring remedies have no effect, study concludes

October 06, 2003|Dianne Partie Lange

More than 300 over-the-counter remedies promise to stop, or curtail, snoring, but physicians who studied one of each of the three main types found them ineffective.

Participants (29 male snorers and 11 female snorers) used a lubricating mouth spray, a nasal dilator strip, and an ergonomically shaped pillow on alternating nights. On the nights in between, they used nothing. Each night, a device analyzed the loudness of their snoring and the percentage of snoring noise arising from the soft palate, which is the origin of 80% of snores. The volunteers and their sleeping partners also answered questionnaires every morning.

There was no statistically significant change in the snores from one night to the next over the week, according to the study authors, Drs. Peter G. Michaelson and Eric A. Mair of Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio. "They have to see a doctor for a proper evaluation," Michaelson says. "Some may benefit from nasal surgery. Some from treatments that stiffen the soft palate so it doesn't flutter."

Products such as the strips that go across the nose, he says, retrain a person to not breathe through the mouth. After six nights, they might work, but in some people they don't, he says.

This study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery in Orlando, Fla., last month.

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Dianne Partie Lange

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