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.