Shaq’s (mildly entertaining) Sleep Apnea

May 23, 2011 by Anup Shah

We all know that Shaquille O’Neal was of very little help to the Boston Celtics this year. But one area where Shaq has not been slacking is taking advantage of Boston’s incredible medical community.

It doesn’t surprise me though that someone as big as Shaq has sleep apnea. Someone with sleep apnea:

  • snores very loudly
  • stops breathing in their sleep
  • suffer from nighttime choking and gasping spells
  • experience excessive daytime sleepiness

According to Web MD, Shaq easily fits the first four risk factors for sleep apnea (male, overweight, over 40 – Shaq is now 39, and having a neck size larger than 17 inches). Seeing as how Shaq is still playing in the NBA, he probably has an active lifestyle that keeps the more dangerous effects from sleep apnea at bay (like diabetes, high BP and even heart problems). At least for now.

It also didn’t surprise me that Shaq asked “Can I wear this to the club?” about his sleep apnea mask. As serious as sleep apnea actually is, this dude can make anything funny.

But because this is a health blog and we love medical animations, I feel obligated to throw in a ‘less-entertaining-than-Shaq’ animation of how Shaq’s mask will keep his airway from collapsing:

 

Filed under: Sports/Pop Culture — @ 3:58 pm

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