President Biden began using a CPAP machine in recent weeks to help deal with sleep apnea, a common disorder in which breathing stops while you sleep, White House officials said Wednesday.
When Biden left the White House Wednesday morning to give a speech in Chicago, he had marks on both sides of his face from wearing the device, known as a continuous positive airway pressure machine.
“Since 2008, the president has disclosed his history of sleep apnea in comprehensive medical reports,” said Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman. “He used a CPAP machine last night, which is common for people with that history.”
CPAP machines are among the most widely used treatments for sleep apnea. The machines send a continuous flow of air into the masks worn during sleep, helping to keep the airways open and ensuring people get the oxygen they need.
Sleep apnea is believed to affect approximately 30 million AmericansAnd it can have a variety of consequences: oxygen deprivation can not only disrupt sleep, it can also increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Manufacturers have estimated in recent years that some 8 million people in the United States use CPAP machines. The devices filter and pressurize air drawn from a bedroom and deliver it through a tube to the mask.
Mr. Biden disclosed his sleep apnea more than a decade ago, but his presidential physician did not mention the condition in either of two letters evaluating his health in 2021 and 2023. In 2019, his doctor noted that Mr. Biden was he had undergone several nasal surgeries. step surgeries to help sinus symptoms.
A White House official said those surgeries seemed to help, but did not eliminate, sleep apnea symptoms. The official, who requested anonymity to discuss details about the president’s health, said the president had started using the CPAP device in recent weeks in an attempt to improve the quality of his sleep.
Benjamin Muller contributed reporting from New York.