Ear protection as a treatment for disruptive snoring: do ear plugs really work?

J Laryngol Otol. 2006 May;120(5):381-4. doi: 10.1017/S0022215106000363.


Background: In the absence of surgical treatments with demonstrable long-term efficacy, conservative treatments for snoring remain appropriate. Only limited evidence evaluating the use of ear protection by partners has been published.

Methods: Eligible couples were invited to participate in a two-month trial, with each partner using custom-moulded ear plugs. Five questionnaires were completed by patients and their partners, at baseline and after two months: the snoring outcomes survey (SOS) or the spouse/bed partners survey (SBPS), the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS), the general health questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), the Nottingham health profile (NHP) and the Golombok-Rust inventory of marital status (GRIMS).

Results: After two months, there was a significant improvement in the SOS score for patients (p = 0.005), the SBPS score for partners (p = 0.001) and the ESS for partners (p = 0.004).

Conclusions: For selected couples, ear plugs represent an effective short-term treatment for some of the social effects of disruptive snoring, as determined by the SOS, SBPS and ESS questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Ear Protective Devices*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hearing Aids
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*
  • Snoring / therapy*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome