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 apnoea (OSA).
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 (+34% chance) and stroke (+67% chance).
Though snoring is often considered a minor affliction and accepted as normal, snorers can sometimes suffer severe impairment of lifestyle. Snoring is associated with the development of carotid artery atherosclerosis. It has been demonstrated that snoring vibrations are transmitted to the carotid artery, identifying a possible mechanism for snoring-associated carotid artery damage and atherosclerotic plaque development.
The 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 hypothesise that loud snoring could create turbulence in carotid artery blood flow. Increased turbulence irritates blood cells and has previously been implicated as a cause of atherosclerosis.