Watch CBS News

Biden using CPAP machine to address sleep apnea

Biden using CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea
Biden using CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea 00:28

President Biden has been using a device commonly used to address sleep apnea in recent weeks in order to improve his sleeping, the White House confirmed Wednesday.

Emerging from the White House Wednesday before leaving for events in Chicago, reporters noticed indentations on the president's lower cheeks suggesting something may have been snugly strapped to his face and over his mouth. Bloomberg first reported the president has begun using a CPAP machine. CPAP is short for "continuous positive airway pressure" — a CPAP machine pushes a steady stream of air into a user's nose and mouth, keeping airways open.

Mr. Biden, 80, disclosed in 2008 in medical reports that he has a history of sleep apnea.

"He used a CPAP machine last night, which is common for people with that history," a White House official tells CBS News.

Roughly 30 million Americans have sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing may inadvertently stop and start during sleep, according to the American Medical Association. Risk factors include age and obesity, and it is more common in men than in women.

The earliest references to Mr. Biden's sleep apnea came during the 2008 campaign, when he was selected by Barack Obama to serve as his running mate. References to the sleep disorder have appeared in medical reports in years past, but not in his most recent White House-issued medical update. The reports have cited common allergies, acid reflux and orthopedic issues.

The president's physician wrote in a February medical disclosure that the president "has dealt with seasonal allergies and sinus congestion for most of his life" but his sinus symptoms "have improved after several sinus and nasal passage surgeries." 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.