A strap mark can be seen on the side of Joe Biden’s face  (AFP via Getty Images)

A strap mark can be seen on the side of Joe Biden’s face (AFP via Getty Images)

Joe Biden has started to use a sleep mask to help his breathing while sleeping.

The CPAP machine helps treat sleep apnoea, a common disorder where breathing is interrupted repeatedly during sleep.

The medical announcement came on Wednesday after reporters spotted marks on the 80-year-old’s face - from the mask used to help him breathe at night.

Horizontal indentations from the mask straps were visible on both sides of Mr Biden’s face when he left the White House to give an economic speech in Chicago.

A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device gently pumps air into a mask over the mouth and nose during sleep, holding the airways open.

“Since 2008, the President has disclosed his history with sleep apnoea in thorough medical reports,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.

“He used a CPAP machine last night, which is common for people with that history,” he said.

White House officials later acknowledged that he had been using the CPAP machine for the last several weeks.

Sleep apnoea is a common but potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing can stop and start in the night.

If left untreated it may cause symptoms including forgetfulness, fatigue and sleepiness.

It can ultimately lead to cardiovascular disease because of the significant strain it can put on the heart, according to studies. Age is one of several factors that increases the risk of developing sleep aponea.

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