In recent weeks, President Joe Biden has started using a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine at night to help with sleep apnea, the White House said Wednesday.
Biden’s team announced the revelation after he appeared in public with mask-shaped lines imprinted on his face. At the time, Biden was leaving for a speech in Chicago.
Even before the White House statement, some observers had already the marks as those of a CPAP machine. For example, the Associated Press described the marks as indents from a CPAP mask.
Sponsored: 100-YEAR-OLDS Used THIS To Rewind Aging
The president has long acknowledged his history with sleep apnea, a potentially serious but common condition causing his breathing to stop and start throughout the night. Biden first disclosed his diagnosis in 2008.
During Biden’s vice presidency, doctors noticed an irregular heartbeat probably linked to apnea. Still, the sleep apnea didn’t come up during his most recent physical in February.
The presidential physician reportedly wrote at the time, “Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been considered, but his symptoms have improved significantly after his sinus and nasal passage surgeries.”
Critics say that February’s report led voters to disregard concerns about the president’s history with the condition.
Take a look at the pictures from Wednesday —
My first guess is CPAP or BIPAP mask
— GeroDoc (@doc_gero) June 28, 2023
Roughly 30 million people in the U.S. are thought to have the condition, though only about 6 million are diagnosed with it, according to the American Medical Association. In people with the condition, throat and tongue muscles relax and block the airway during sleep, caused by aging, obesity, or facial structure.
Biden, 80, is running for re-election as the oldest person ever to serve as commander-in-chief.
Sponsored: Biden’s Plan to Confiscate Your Cash
Sleep apnea causes sufferers to stop breathing, sometimes for up to a minute and hundreds of times each night, before awaking with loud gasping and snoring. The condition prevents them from getting deep, restorative sleep. If left untreated, it can lead to dangerous drowsiness and increased heart attack risk. The problem is more common in men than women.