Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a revolutionary therapy that uses oxygen to help treat illness, chronic pain, skin conditions,allergies, wounds and other chronic illnesses.. By increasing the air pressure two or three times, the individual will experience the ability to take more oxygen into your lungs, which can help combat infections, harmful bacteria, and allow your body to heal from injuries. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe and controlled treatment that is gaining in popularity due to its ability to safely treat many conditions through the use of pure oxygen.
How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment that involves an increase in air pressure, allowing the individual to have a higher oxygen intake. Individuals are placed in a full body chamber, where they are exposed to pure oxygen in an environment that raises the air pressure. This allows the lungs to breathe in the oxygen at higher levels. Normally, the oxygen in the bloodstream is absorbed only by the red blood cells, and then carried to the areas of the body, such as tissues and organs. With hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the rise in air pressure allows the oxygen to be absorbed by other parts of the blood, as well – the plasma, lymph nodes, and central nervous system fluids. This allows the oxygen the ability to easily reach the damaged tissues in the body, or those that aren’t getting the proper amount of oxygen, and begin a natural healing process within those tissues.
The more oxygen that is in the blood, the better the white blood cells can combat infections, kill harmful bacteria, and can even promote the growth of new blood vessels. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a great way to treat a variety of conditions and health concerns, and is completely non-invasive and pain free.
Who Benefits From Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
When it comes to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you will be happy to know individuals with a wide variety of conditions can benefit from the treatment. In fact, this type of treatment, combined with medical care from a physician, can truly work wonders to treat a lot of different ailments. Some of the conditions that can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include the following:
- Anemia due to excessive blood loss
- Diabetic Wounds
- Tissue infections
- Compartment Syndrome
- Skin grafts
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Radiation damage
While these are the conditions that are typically treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, there are some that are off-label, although it can be beneficial to use this type of therapy for conditions as well. These include:
- Lyme disease
- Sports injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Safe?
Unlike other invasive procedures, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a non-invasive and painless treatment that has little risk involved with treatment. When this therapy is completed under the supervision of a licensed medical professional, minimal risk or complications are likely to occur. Some of the risks include:
- Injury to the middle ear due to the change in air pressure
- Myopia, or temporary nearsightedness, which is caused by a change in the eye lens
- Lung collapse
- Oxygen toxicity
- Lowered blood sugar
While the risks of the above are low, it is important to discuss them with your doctor prior to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Let your doctor know about any conditions or health concerns, such as diabetes, before your treatment, so you and your doctor can plan accordingly.
What To Expect Before And After The Procedure
Preparing for your hyperbaric oxygen therapy is easy and does not require much. Once you arrive at your procedure, you will be given a gown to wear into the chamber, as you will not be wearing your regular clothing. You will not be permitted to take lighters or battery operated devices, such as cell phones or watches, into the chamber with you, as it increases the risk of a fire. Avoid any hair, skin, or makeup products that are petroleum based, as well.
During the procedure, you can expect to be in the hyperbaric chamber for 1 to 2 hours depending on the treatment recommendations from your healthcare provider and based on your condition and goals. The air pressure in the chamber is about two or three times higher than outside the chamber, so this can cause pressure in your ears – but you can alleviate it by swallowing or yawning.
Your health care team will decide on the number of sessions required to give you the full benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Most individuals will need several sessions, depending on the condition being treated. Some conditions may only need five treatments, while others may need as many as forty.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy FAQ
What Can I Do During Treatment?
While you are not permitted to have items such as a cell phone in the chamber with you, there are other options for entertainment. You can read a book, watch a movie, or simply rest and relax during the treatment.
What is Some Important Information For The Technician?
Like all medical procedures, it is important to have certain information available to your technician before you begin your treatment. These items of information include:
- The possibility of pregnancy
- If you are sick or have cold or flu symptoms, such as a fever, sinus congestion, and chest congestion
- A list of medications you are currently taking, as well as if you have taken them that day
- Whether you have eaten that day or not
- Any medical conditions you may have, such as diabetes
- Concerns you may have, or any anxiety about the treatment
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a great choice for those looking for a non-invasive and gentle approach to treating conditions. When included in your medical care plan, it can work wonders for your health.