Study Examines Snoring Treatments

A new study claims snorers found no difference after using three popular over-the-counter remedies.

Otolaryngologists, Dr. Peter Michaelson Michaelson and Dr. Eric Mair, both at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, looked at three different popular over-the-counter remedies in their study titled "Popular Snore Aids: Do they work?"

The doctors looked at Snorenz, a lubricating mouth spray; Breathe Right nasal dilator strips; and the ergonomically shaped pillow called Snore No More.

Michaelson, the author of the study, said their weeklong study showed that each of the three products tested were unsuccessful.

"In looking at a full week, that's over 270 individual sleep tests with 40 patients looking at objective, scientific numbers and questionnaires of the patients and spouses, none of the three worked," Michaelson said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.

Michaelson said study participants engaged in seven consecutive nights of testing. The first, third, fifth, and seventh nights were to be tested without the use of any snore remedy; the remaining nights were reserved for product testing.

The makers of Breathe Right Strips say their company has done independent studies that prove their products do work. Breathe Right Strips went on to say that Michaelson's study is flawed because it lasted not the full seven consecutive days they recommend.

In a statement, the maker of Snorenz also criticized the size of the study writing, "One small test, consisting of 40 participants, does not prove anything." Snorenz and Snore No More also said that they have many satisfied customers, but acknowledge that their products don't work for everyone. The product manufacturers and the researchers agree that snoring can result from a variety of causes.

Habitual snoring, which is estimated to affect from 24 to 50 percent of men and 14 to 30 percent of women, is a symptom of sleep disordered breathing. It stems from vibration of various anatomical structures of the upper aerodigestive tract while sleeping.

Traditional treatments for snoring can range from weight loss to surgery.

Dr. Peter J. Catalano, chairman of the department of Otolaryngology at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass., says the results of Michaelson's study are not surprising.

Dr. David Terris, chairman of the department of Otolaryngology at the Medical College of Georgia, says people who snore should realize that there aren't many easy solutions. Terris says changing sleeping positions and weight loss sometimes work long-term, but many over-the-counter remedies have disappointed his own patients.

"I have had hundreds of patients over the years who have tried every treatment known to God and mankind," Davis said. "For the most part, the ones that admit to having used them say they either didn't work, or worked for a short period of time, then stopped," he said.

Michaelson said he initiated the study because so many of his patients asked about over-the-counter remedies for snoring and he didn't have a good answer.

Currently, over 300 non-invasive, over-the-counter snoring remedies are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Michaelson said he and Mair looked at 29 men and 11 women who complained of socially disruptive snoring. The subjects were enrolled in the study at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center.

Michaelson said he chose the non-invasive over-the-counter snore remedies based on multiple independent Internet searches, patient interviews, product uniqueness, and lack of unbiased scientific analysis.

Michaelson says proper use of the products from their packaged inserts were reviewed prior to meeting with the patients.

Michaelson and Mair presented their snoring study at the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., this week but believe there is more work to be done in exploring the field of snoring.