Anti-snoring products unproven, study says

April 10, 2006

Many anti-snoring products have limited scientific evidence to support their claims, a consumer study says.

The Australian Consumers' Association assessed evidence for nasal strips and dilators, special pillows, essential oils and homeopathic products by consulting medical experts -- after asking manufacturers to validate their products' effectiveness, The Australian reported Monday.

It found nasal strips and dilators might help a small number of people whose snoring was caused by certain types of nasal obstruction, but sleep experts considered most evidence for the strips and dilators to be either contradictory or too subjective.

An ear, nose and throat specialist told the association that the methodology for the trials of aromatherapy products like essential oils was unreliable.

The Australian Homeopathic Association also questioned the "one cure fits all" approach of over-the-counter anti-snoring products.

Association spokeswoman Lisa Tait said that, in the absence of convincing evidence for these remedies, lifestyle changes were the most successful and safest treatment for snoring problems.

"Losing weight can help, as can quitting smoking, avoiding sleeping pills, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants and alcohol before going to bed," she said.

"If you only snore when sleeping on your back, try to train yourself to sleep on your side."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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