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Why is President Biden using a CPAP machine?

The White House says President Biden has used the machine in recent weeks to help with his sleep apnea.
President Biden speaks to the media
Posted at 6:51 PM, Jun 28, 2023

The White House says President Joe Biden has started using a CPAP machine to help with his sleep apnea.

A CPAP machine, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, pumps a stream of air through a mask that a patient wears while they're sleeping, to help keep their airways open.

President Biden, who is 80 years old, appeared on Wednesday with marks on his face from a CPAP mask. The White House said President Biden used the machine on Tuesday night and in recent weeks.

President Biden has a history of the condition, which has previously been disclosed in his medical reports as early as 2008, when Biden was Barack Obama's running mate. 

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Experts believe sleep apnea might affect as many as 30 million Americans, though actual diagnosis rates are lower, with around 6 million known cases.

Sleep apnea is more common in men than in women.

The National Institutes of Health says the most common form of sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway is repeatedly blocked during sleep, which can prevent the body from getting enough oxygen and can cause people to snore or gasp in their sleep. Common causes include obesity, large tonsils and aging.

Poor sleep as a result of sleep apnea can cause other health problems, such as increased heart attack risk.