President Joe Biden has recently begun using a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea, the White House says, after indentations from straps were seen on both sides of his face Wednesday morning.
“Since 2008, the president has disclosed his history with sleep apnea in thorough medical reports. He used a CPAP machine last night, which is common for people with that history,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said.
An official familiar with the matter said Biden began using the device in recent weeks to improve sleep quality.
Marks could also be seen on the side of Biden’s face during a Monday event at the White House meant to promote an expansion of high-speed internet.
Biden, who, at 80, is the nation’s oldest president, has had a history of sleep apnea in the past.
Medical records released in 2008 indicated Biden had a recurring issue with sleep apnea.
A health record released by Biden’s doctor in 2019 said sleep apnea “has been considered, but his symptoms have improved significantly after his sinus and nasal passage surgeries.”
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. About 30 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, according to the American Medical Association.
A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine “uses mild air pressure to keep breathing airways open while you sleep,” according to the National Institutes of Health
A readout of Biden’s last physical, conducted earlier this year, did not mention sleep apnea as a condition the president suffers from.
Biden’s physicals have all indicated he is fit to serve as president.
During Biden’s 2021 physical, the White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor singled out two areas of “observation”: an “increasing frequency and severity of ‘throat clearing’ and coughing during speaking engagements” and the president’s stiffer gait.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.