Shaq Attacks Sleep Apnea

We get asked so many times, “What’s the point of actually using the therapy? I don’t like it! Isn’t it just a money grab anyway?”

You may think snoring is a minor problem, but it can be a lot more than that. Just ask NBA Hall of Fame Shaquille O’Neal, whose rambunctious snoring bothered his girlfriend enough for her to suspect a health problem. Her observations eventually led to Shaq’s diagnosis of moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which occurs when the soft tissue structures at the back of a person’s throat, including the tongue, partially close off the upper airway and prevent air from moving into the lungs during sleep

PAP therapy is just that-a therapy. It’s treatment for a dangerous condition that can cause or trigger lethal heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke or other causes of premature death. The chances of dying with untreated sleep apnea are reported to be as high as five times greater than with no sleep apnea or treated sleep apnea. 

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office reports that sleep apnea and heart disease were major contributing factors in Carrie Fisher’s death and lists “sleep apnea with other conditions” as the cause of death. 

Other famous people reported to have sleep apnea as a possible contributing factor to their deaths include James Gandolfini, John Candy, Justin Tennison, Harris Glen Milstead, Jerry Garcia, Isreal Kamakawiwo’ol, Reggie White and US President William H. Taft. I personally have met people who quit using their CPAP, later to have family notify us of their death. 

You’re not alone. It is estimated that about 20% of the people have sleep apnea, many of whom choose not to treat it and many do not even know that they have it. 

As a therapist, I sincerely hope that you persevere in your diagnosis and treatment. If you are having trouble it is most likely humidity or your mask that can be adjusted to improve your compliance with the therapy. Don’t suffer in silence! Ask your healthcare provider or write me a detailed description of your problems and we’ll try to suggest something. 

In the end, Shaq settled on a nasal CPAP mask. And after undergoing treatment, Shaq started experiencing immediate results. A nasal pillow mask uses two soft silicone anatomically shaped “pillows” which are inserted slightly into the nostril. CPAP Nasal pillow masks can be quite comfortable because there is minimal facial contact and allow for almost any sleeping position without mask displacement. Their minimal and lightweight design is welcomed by CPAP mask users over the traditional bulky CPAP nasal or full face mask. Additionally, air leaks are notably reduced which helps the overall sleep experience.

Nasal Pillow Masks

If you need assistance finding the right CPAP nasal pillow mask for your needs, preferences and budget feel free to email us at or give us a toll free call at 1-844-355-2727.

If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, it is time to get tested and start undergoing CPAP treatment right away. Like Shaquille O’Neal, we want to “fix it

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