Most people aren’t real happy when they first start using a CPAP. Plenty of patients get their first machine and wonder why they have to use the noisy contraption, and why they need to wear a mask that makes them look like Darth Vader. Even worse, CPAP therapy can actually lead people to think poorly of their body, believing that CPAP is primarily for old and overweight people.
The point is that CPAP therapy, on the outside, looks weird. The mask looks funny, the tubes are long and cumbersome looking, and the idea of having air blowing into your face all night isn’t particularly appetizing. All in all, it’s enough to make plenty of people feel weird and oddly separated from the rest of the population if they have to use a CPAP. Some are even embarrassed by CPAP.
You shouldn’t be.
There are plenty of people who wear a CPAP mask nightly — over ten percent of the population has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and the mildness of the symptoms and relatively recent discovery of the disease likely means that it’s severely under-diagnosed — so you’re certainly not alone. You probably have a neighbor, relative, or friend who uses CPAP, and you just don’t know yet. You might also be surprised to learn that there are plenty of celebrities who wear a CPAP mask every night. Below, we’ve listed five of the most famous.
1. Rosie O’Donnell
The comedian and actress has used a CPAP for nearly a decade now, after suffering a heart attack in 2007. In her sleep study, she discovered that she suffered more than 200 apneas in a single night, making hers a particularly severe case of sleep apnea.
2. Regis Philbin
I can’t be the only one who grew up watching Regis Philbin
on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ Little did we know that the show’s popular star felt like significantly less than a million bucks when he woke up in the morning, thanks to his undiagnosed sleep apnea. He took a sleep test in 2009 and now uses CPAP every night.
3. Shaquille O’Neal
While most people don’t think of ‘athlete’ when they hear ‘sleep apnea’ there are plenty of people from the sports world who suffer from sleep apnea. Shaq might be the most famous, but his place on the list goes to show that a large frame and a big neck are two leading indicators for sleep apnea, and that plenty of the world’s fittest people may need a CPAP to sleep properly.
4. Randy Jackson
One of the hosts of American Idol, Jackson also has diabetes in addition to sleep apnea. This is not uncommon: Type-II diabetes is strongly correlated with sleep apnea
. If untreated, sleep apnea detrimentally affects the body’s ability to regulate sugar levels, which can lead to diabetes and obesity over time.
5. William Shatner
Best known for his role in Star Trek, Shatner also has obstructive sleep apnea. Everyone’s favorite every-man relies on his CPAP to sleep effectively every night.
We hope you enjoyed our list of celebrities who use a CPAP. It’s just another friendly reminder that you aren’t alone.