Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. In some cases, the sound may be soft, but in most cases, it can be loud and unpleasant. Snoring during sleep may be a sign, or first alarm, of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Research suggests that snoring is one of the factors of sleep deprivation.Snoring is known to cause sleep deprivation to snorers and those around them, as well as daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus and decreased libido. It has also been suggested that it can cause significant psychological and social damage to sufferers. Multiple studies reveal a positive correlation between loud snoring and risk of heart attack (about +34% chance) and stroke (about +67% chance).
New studies associate loud “snoring” with the development of carotid artery atherosclerosis. Amatoury et al. demonstrated that snoring vibrations are transmitted to the carotid artery, identifying a possible mechanism for snoring-associated carotid artery damage and atherosclerotic plaque development. These researchers also found amplification of the snoring energy within the carotid lumen at certain frequencies, adding to this scenario. Vibration of the carotid artery with snoring also lends itself as a potential mechanism for atherosclerotic plaque rupture and consequently ischemic stroke. Researchers also hypothesize that loud snoring could create turbulence in carotid artery blood flow.
Generally speaking, increased turbulence irritates blood cells and has previously been implicated as a cause of atherosclerosis. While there is plausibility and initial evidence to support snoring as an independent source of carotid artery/cardiovascular disease, additional research is required to further clarify this hypothesis.
So far, there is no certain treatment that can completely stop snoring. Almost all treatments for snoring revolve around lessening the breathing discomfort by clearing the blockage in the air passage. Medications are usually not helpful in treating snoring symptoms, though they can help control some of the underlying causes such as nasal congestion and allergic reactions. Doctors, therefore, often recommend lifestyle changes as a first line treatment to stop snoring. This is the reason snorers are advised to lose weight (to stop fat from pressing on the throat), stop smoking (smoking weakens and clogs the throat), avoid alcohol and sedative medications before bedtime (they relax the throat and tongue muscles, which in turn narrow the airways) and sleep on their side (to prevent the tongue from blocking the throat).