Sick Celebrities


Rosie O Donnell suffers from sleep apnea


Rosie O’Donnell is well-known for her energy and sense of humour, but up until recently she has been battling a disorder that left her feeling tired and drained every single day.

Talking on The View, she said that at night: “I was turning and snoring like a buzz-saw, so it was time I got to the bottom of it.“

On the show, O’Donnell revealed that she suffered from sleep apnea, a disorder which causes interruptions in breathing during sleep. This is due to muscles at the back of the throat, which support the tongue and tonsils, becoming too relaxed and causing airways to narrow or become blocked. Snoring is one of the most common side-effects.

Rosie O’Donnell’s guest on the show, doctor and author Michael Breus, stated: “Sleep apnea is when you stop beathing at night. This is a medical situation, there is nothing mental about it,“ apart from the consequences it has.

The condition can lead to insomnia, lethargy and depression. It has even been linked with weight gain, Breus suggested. When their airway becomes blocked, the patient can stop breathing altogether. This causes them to wake up numerous times during the night without even knowing it.

Rosie O'Donnell wants to raise awareness about sleep apnea

The TV presenter pointed out that testing is usually conducted in a sleep clinic, but can be arranged for home, and admitted that she was too scared to go to the clinic herself. Rosie’s test found that she woke up over 200 times in one night and at one point stopped breathing for as long as 40 seconds.

However, help was at hand. O’Donnell now uses a device fitted around the face with a hose leading to a machine which pumps air up her nostrils.

Demostrating how the piece of equipment works, she jokes: “Isn’t that attractive. Rosie O’Donnell snorkeling and scuba-diving in her own bedroom. My kids come in, crack up and run out,“ but admits that after just one night of using it, she felt “100% better“.

Commenting on treatment options, Dr Breus added that surgery is available to tackle the problem, but only works around 50% of the time.

Another celebrity who suffers from a sleep disorder is Jimmy Kimmel, who continues to battle narcolepsy.

Image: PR Photos and DanCox

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