Following the release of images that showed visible indentations on President Joe Biden’s face, the White House confirmed yesterday that the president recently began wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask at night.
“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.
Questions about Biden’s appearance surfaced on social media, including Twitter, on Wednesday. The president was pictured with indentations on his face indicative of wearing a CPAP mask.
"It looks like the sort of indentation one would expect from a CPAP mask. If you look at photos of popular CPAP mask styles, you can see how the strap would leave a similar mark as the one we see on President Biden,” said Dr. Joseph Krainin, the medical adviser at SleepApnea.org, said.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common, with as many as 30 million Americans having the condition. Nearly 80% of cases are undiagnosed. If untreated, OSA can lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression.
The risk of developing OSA increases with age. President Biden, at 80 years old, is the oldest living president. Biden’s medical records, which were released in 2008, disclosed that he has a history of sleep apnea.