Musings of a phenomenologist

Science, psychiatry and random musings

Snoring kills, no really…

Posted by soveda on December 8, 2008


I was reading a car magazine last week and found an advert selling SnorBan With the strap-line “Snoring Driving fatigue can be fatal”.

Now the strap line itself I don’t argue with, falling asleep due to fatigue when driving is not a good idea but what does it have to do with snoring?

Apparently this:

“People who suffer from the common sleep disorder Sleep Apnoea, of which the most significant sign is loud and heavy,snoring, are seven times more likely to have a road accident than other drivers.”

Use of punctuation directly copied from the advert in question.

Oh look a newspaper article about someone who was miraculously cured, it must be true. And this is the BBC story the SnorBan site links to as proof that even the BBC recomment it, I can’t find the recommendation can you?

So we are asked to make the connection “snoring means sleep apnoea” (as we know this is a logical fallacy, Sleep Apnoea leads to snoring but not all snoring is sleep apnoea). So how common is Sleep Apnoea? Net doctor give a figure of 4% of middle-aged people, the page also states that:

OSA is best treated with a device called a CPAP machine, so called because it blows a gentle stream of air through the nose at night producing a ‘constant positive airway pressure’. This keeps the pressure in the throat higher than the atmospheric pressure so that the throat is not pressed closed.

 …specially moulded plastic mouth insert (orthodontic prosthesis) to hold the jaw forwards can help individuals with short jaws who snore.

Here is the NHS page with treatment options. Once again CPAP is given as the main treatment with mandibular Advancement devices as a possible second line.

But of course there is a disclaimer which states:

Please note that SnorBan UK and Eire do not accept any liability for problems arising from the use of the SnorBan mouthpiece.

Whilst the SnorBan mouthpiece is designed to cure snoring, it is not a cure for sleep apnoea, which is a medical condition. Should you suffer from this complaint then you should consult your doctor.




Now correct me if I’m taking this the wrong way but this seems to negate everything they are suggesting in their advert does it not?

Oh and from the NHS site:

“Almost half of people in the UK snore from time to time and around a quarter of people are regular snorers”

That’s quite a few snorers without Sleep Apnoea.

I’m considering a letter to the ASA but I would appreciate other opinions on this.


One Response to “Snoring kills, no really…”

  1. valueaddedwater said

    MHRA might be interested if its an unlicenced medical device (They don’t just look at drugs)

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