Do Anti-Snoring Products Work?

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It can seem louder than a lawn mower, more rattling than a chainsaw: the sound of your spouse snoring.

"You and Tom have been married for nearly 30 years now, so for nearly 30 years he was telling you that you were snoring?"

"He's a saint!"

Cindy Scheid can laugh about it, but to husband Tom her snoring is no joke.

"It would either keep me from falling asleep or wake me at some point during the night."

Cindy is one of 37 million Americans who are chronic snorer, and their families aren't the only ones suffering. Promises of help can be found in every drugstore and online.

Hundreds of products claim to offer relief to consumers desperate for a silent night.
So Texas ear-nose-throat surgeon Dr. Peter Michaelson decided to find out. In the first independent study of its kind--he put three popular anti-snoring products to the test: a nasal strip, a throat spray, and a pillow.

"They're readily available; you can find many of these products at your local drug store."

Michaelson tested each product on more than three dozen chronic snorers, measuring how well they reduced the loudness and frequency of snoring.

Michaelson says, "Based on the study I performed, none of them worked."

And there's more. Dr. Michaelson says snoring actually can be a symptom of a serious health problem, one products like these could never cure.

Michaelson says, "If you have a problem with snoring, you need to be evaluated by a medical professional."

When Cindy finally saw a specialist about her snoring she was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition.

Cindy didn't know it, but she would stop breathing as many as 40 times during the night. Her doctor prescribed a mouth device, and now she won't go to bed without it.

Cindy says, "The minute I started wearing it that first night, I definitely got better sleep."

Doctors say sleeping on your side may also help reduce snoring. So can avoiding alcohol or large meals before bed.