Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is a non-invasive therapy. You breathe pure oxygen in a clear plastic chamber. Typically, a session lasts two hours.
As you age, your body slows down cell production. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen in your body and enhances the production of white blood cells.
You lie on a table that slides into a clear plastic chamber called a monoplace unit. The air pressure in the chamber is two to three times greater than normal air pressure. The increased pressure may cause a feeling of fullness in your ears as you experience on an airplane.
Increased Blood Flow
Various medical conditions and injuries can hamper circulation, resulting in oxygen-rich blood struggling to reach the affected region. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases circulation by filling the body’sbody’s tissues with pure, healing oxygen at a higher concentration than normal. It also helps your lymphatic system clear waste and delivers oxygen to the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
During treatment, you relax in a chamber as air pressure and oxygen levels gradually increase. This treatment is painless and safe. Before you enter the chamber, your doctor will ask about any medications or supplements you may be taking. Cigarette lighters, matches, nylon wigs, hearing aids, paper products, and petroleum ointments cannot be brought into the chamber for safety reasons. Most insurance companies and Medicare cover HBOT for approved, conventional conditions.
Increased Oxygen Levels
Your body needs oxygen to heal itself, and hyperbaric oxygenation treatment increases the amount of oxygen in your blood and other body fluids. This allows tissues with low blood flow or hemoglobin to get the oxygen needed.
Most people who receive HBOT don’tdon’t feel claustrophobic because the monoplane chambers are clear and large enough to see in all directions. However, you may feel pressure in your ears, similar to when flying on an airplane, especially as the treatment progresses. Swallowing, yawning, or breathing through your nose can help relieve this feeling.
Treatment sessions last two hours, and your healthcare team will check you for airway obstructions, ear pain, or problems (such as sinus congestion) throughout the session. They will also measure your blood pressure and pulse and test your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
Increased White Blood Cells
A key part of the body’sbody’s immune system, white blood cells fight off viruses and infections. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment improves the function of white blood cells by first enhancing bone marrow production and then increasing circulation to where these vital cells can travel much faster through the body.
Damage to tissues often reduces the supply of oxygen due to swelling or edema that reduces the oxygen diffusing distance from blood vessels to cells. Hyperbaric oxygenation treatment helps increase the number and size of blood vessels in damaged tissue, allowing more oxygen to reach cells, shortening the inflammatory process, and speeding up healing.
HBOT is a safe procedure and has few side effects. Most people only experience pressure in the ears, similar to flying in an airplane, and some lightheadedness.
Increased Collagen Production
Repeated hyperbaric oxygen therapy boosts collagen production and promotes healing for many conditions. This can help a wound close and prevent a blood clot from moving to another area of the body, potentially causing a blockage (known as arterial gas embolism).
During HBOT, you breathe pure oxygen in a chamber pressurized to more than double atmospheric pressure. The treatment is safe, but some risks include ear and eardrums injuries, sinus problems, and low blood sugar in people who use insulin.
A typical session lasts about two hours. When your session is done, a healthcare team member removes you from the chamber and checks your ears, pulse, and, if you have diabetes, your blood sugar. Then you get dressed and go home.
Your body needs oxygen to function, requiring even more oxygen when your tissue is damaged. Hyperbaric oxygenation treatment floods your system with pure oxygen at pressures that are two to three times higher than atmospheric pressure, allowing for more oxygen delivery and triggering the production of growth factors and stem cells that promote healing.
During your HBOT session, you will sit or lie in a clear, plexiglass tube filled with pure oxygen. The procedure is painless and non-invasive. Complications of HBOT are rare but include temporary nearsightedness due to changes in air pressure in the middle ears, lung collapse, and low blood sugar for those with diabetes treated with insulin. Other risks include:
- Ear and sinus injuries.
- Oxygen poisoning.
- Seizures are caused by too much oxygen in your central nervous system.