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An NBA Superstar and Sleep Apnea: Shaq

by Cloe Gray, Ph.D., Senior Medical Writer at BioSerenity

May 10, 2022 | Sleep

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal: Sleep Apnea

Shaquille O’Neal, also known as Shaq, is an NBA basketball player who played as a center throughout his career with six different teams and has been inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. Born in Newark, NJ, Shaq started to play basketball at the Boys and Girls club and went to Louisiana State University. Now retired, Shaq works as a spokesman for brands such as Papa John’s and has done some acting. Shaquille O’Neal was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2011.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by apneas and hypopneas. Apnea occurs when, during sleep, a person stops breathing; hypopnea is shallow breathing. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which comprises approximately 85% of cases. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway is blocked, usually by muscles in the throat. Symptoms of apnea include daytime tiredness, loud snoring, and awakening throughout the night (prompted by lack of oxygen). Long-term damage to a patient can occur without treatment, including hypoxia, effects on memory, and an increased risk of heart disease and death. Sleep apnea is typically treated with a continuous positive airway pressure device, which pushes air down a patient’s throat to prevent obstruction and to allow the patient to breathe normally during sleep.

How can BioSerenity help with the diagnosis of sleep apnea?

BioSerenity has developed its own home sleep testing (HST) device, called the AccuSom. Home sleep testing is a valuable tool to diagnose sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, as it allows patients to be tested for disrupted sleep in their own home environment. This provides a more comfortable test in a familiar environment for the patient. The AccuSom™ device records total sleep time as well as apneas and hypopneas, and these recordings are sent to a licensed sleep physician after the home sleep test. The physician will review the AccuSom™ recording and determine if a patient has the hallmarks of sleep apnea. This physician, or a patient’s own primary care provider, can then make a recommendation for sleep apnea treatment depending on the severity of apnea.

Do you think you might have sleep apnea? Ask your doctor for more information regarding home sleep testing and the AccuSom device.

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