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Shaquille O’Neal is a retired NBA player. At 7 feet 1 inch tall and weighing 325 pounds, he is one of the heaviest players to have ever played in the league. O’Neal was drafted in 1992 as the first overall pick by the Orlando Magic. He won Rookie of the Year and played for the Magic for four years. After signing with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent, he won three consecutive NBA championships. O’Neal won his fourth NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. Before retiring, O’Neal also played for the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Boston Celtics.
This video follows O’Neal as he pursues getting a diagnosis regarding symptoms of pauses in his breathing while he is sleeping. O’Neal’s girlfriend suggests to him that he most likely has sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where there are pauses in breathing or shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. The abnormal breathing causes carbon dioxide to build up in the blood stream which eventually wakes the person up and causes them to breath normally again. Sleep apnea can cause tiredness, slower reaction times, vision problems, increased risk of other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and liver disease, and sometimes even death.
O’Neal’s diagnosis of sleep apnea shows that the condition is not affected by a person’s physical fitness level. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are 12 million Americans who have obstructive sleep apnea. There are most likely more cases of sleep apnea due to people being unaware that they have the condition and underreporting of its occurrence.
The following video provides information about the condition and also follows O’Neal as he undergoes a sleep study test. The video also follows him as he chooses the treatment that works best for him. To understand more about the disease and what it is like to undergo diagnosis and treatment, check out the video below.