Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a component of treatment for many conditions. Learn more about hyperbaric oxygen treatment to help you understand what to expect.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment that uses high concentrations of oxygen to heal wounds, remove heavy metals and bacteria, prevent infections, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The increased concentration allows additional oxygen to reach the injured tissue or area that needs healing.
Some conditions make it difficult for your body to deliver oxygen to various cells, tissues, and organs. Although oxygen is a primary component of every cell in your body, many people live with chronic low oxygen levels resulting from smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure. When you breathe in healthy amounts of oxygen, your body can heal faster and maintain a vibrant and healthy level.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treats conditions like carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, and chronic wounds. The stages of HBOT treatment vary depending on the state needing treatment and your medical needs.
The treatment involves breathing pure oxygen in an enclosed chamber. The chamber is pressurized with 100% oxygen to increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. Your condition and circumstances determine whether the process occurs at ground level or underwater.
The evaluation process may include the following:
- Physical examination and testing
- Patient history review
- Psychological evaluation
Preparation: Patients must mentally and physically prepare themselves before starting the treatment. They must be ready for the potential side effects of HBOT and the length and intensity of the therapy. The doctor will also give you instructions on preparing for the treatment, which may include avoiding certain foods or medications.
They’ll also review the benefits reported by patients who have used HBOT in the past, including pain relief and reduced swelling in areas affected by injury or illness.
Compression: Once the patient is ready for treatment, they will enter the hyperbaric chamber, increasing the pressure gradually. The patient may feel a sensation of fullness in their ears. The pressure inside the room will continue to increase until it reaches the prescribed level for the patient’s condition.
Decompression: The pressure inside the chamber will gradually decrease after the treatment. The patient may experience a repeat of fullness in their ears, similar to air passengers’ feelings during takeoff and landing on an airplane. The decompression process is essential to prevent the formation of gas bubbles in the body.
Post-treatment Evaluation: After the patient has completed the Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment, they should undergo an additional medical evaluation to monitor their progress and determine if further treatments are needed. Depending on the condition under treatment, the patient may require multiple HBOT sessions for some days or weeks.
Types of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Chambers
There are two main types of HBOT chambers: monoplace and multiplace.
Monoplace HBOT chambers have space to treat one person at a time. They are often used in hospitals as they can quickly move around without disrupting other patients. Their high mobility makes them useful in various locations, including wards and outpatient clinics.
Multiplace chambers can accommodate multiple people simultaneously, which is helpful if you have friends who need HBOT together.
Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treatment Safe?
Yes. HBOT is FDA-approved and has a successful track record of treating patients with various conditions and illnesses for decades, and it’s usually safe when performed by a trained professional.
Many people hesitate to try it because they fear what might happen if something goes wrong during treatment. Luckily, HBOT is one of the safest treatments available today.
Here’s why: There’s no risk of getting burned or exposed to toxic chemicals while undergoing HBOT treatment. All you need to do is relax in your seat while your doctor monitors you through the chamber door. There’s no need for anesthesia or sedation, nor does anyone else have to breathe oxygen from an oxygen mask during your session.
Advantages of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treatment
HBOT offers many benefits, including:
- Increased blood and oxygen flow to the affected area
- Decreased swelling in the affected area
- Enhanced immune function to help fight off infection
- Increased cellular metabolism, which helps heal the damaged tissue
Risks of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treatment
Studies have shown that it is safe for most healthy people to use hyperbaric. However, people with certain medical conditions may be unable to use hyperbaric oxygen therapy and should see their doctor before using it. These conditions include:
- A disease that makes you weak
- A damaged or blocked artery in the brain or chest
- A severe infection or illness that affects the heart
- Sinus congestion: If you have sinus congestion, you should talk to your doctor before starting this treatment.
Some people may experience anxiety during hyperbaric oxygen treatments because of being enclosed in a small space filled with pure oxygen. If you feel anxious during therapy, let your doctor know so they can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
The risks of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy include the following:
- Oxygen toxicity. It occurs when too much oxygen is breathed in at one time and can damage the lungs and other tissues in the body. The risk of oxygen toxicity increases as you increase the time spent in the chamber.
- Middle ear injury. After treatment, your ears may be sensitive, so avoid loud noises or other sounds that could damage your hearing.
To reduce your risk of having a problem with excessive amounts of oxygen, ensure you only spend time in the chamber as recommended by your doctor or therapist.
Get Your Wellness with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treatment Today
Medical specialists worldwide recognize the health benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, and with increasing awareness, thousands of patients have had access to this non-invasive form of treatment.
The benefit of HBOT is that it is a safe, reliable, and non-toxic solution for any condition for which it is applicable. Many people feel increased well-being after each treatment and improved energy levels.
You, too, can benefit from HBOT treatment by working with professionals approved to provide this therapy service.