Can Anti-Snoring Claims Be Cause for Alarm?
POSTED: July 29, 2007 2:22 pm
Remember the adage, "Laugh and the world laughs with you. Snore and you sleep alone"?
For chronic snorers and anyone who has to listen to them, anti-snoring products can sound like a dream come true. But before you start catching zzzz's, consider this: Ads for some of these products are making unsubstantiated claims that the products can cure or treat the symptoms of sleep apnea, a serious, potentially life-threatening disorder. The Federal Trade Commission is concerned that these misleading claims may keep some snorers from getting the medical treatment they need.
Sleep apnea affects at least 12 million Americans of all ages, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. It causes brief interruptions of breathing during sleep when a blockage in the upper airway restricts air flow. Sleep experts advise chronic snorers or people who think they may have sleep apnea to see their physician or a sleep specialist.
The FTC warns consumers to be suspicious of anti-snoring product claims that:
- refer to snoring as a medical condition;
- infer that the product can treat or cure symptoms of sleep apnea, like daytime tiredness, headaches, lack of concentration, interruptions in breathing, and partial awakenings; and
- refer to the mechanics of sleep apnea; for example, how a restricted airway causes a person to awaken to take a breath.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.