The power of oxygen therapy has been embraced for centuries as a means of improving health and well-being. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one such form of oxygen treatment that has recently gained popularity as an alternative medicine approach to healing.
By exposing patients to higher levels of atmospheric pressure, this unique form of therapy helps deliver more oxygen to the body’s cells and tissues.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that uses increased atmospheric pressure to deliver a higher concentration of oxygen to the body. In this article, we will explore the many benefits of HBOT, the conditions it can treat, and what to expect during a session.
This article will explore the potential benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, from improving cognitive function to helping with chronic pain relief.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
HBOT involves breathing 100% oxygen while in a pressurized chamber. The pressure inside the chamber is increased to two or three times the normal atmospheric pressure, which causes the oxygen to dissolve into the bloodstream at a much higher rate than usual. This increased oxygen supply can help to heal damaged tissues and fight infection.
The use of HBOT dates back to the 17th century when it was used to treat divers with decompression sickness. Today, it is used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including:
HBOT can promote wound healing by increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the tissues. This increased oxygen supply can help to reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, and promote the growth of new blood vessels. HBOT is often used to treat non-healing wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers and radiation-induced skin injuries.
Radiation Therapy Side Effects
Radiation therapy can cause damage to the tissues surrounding the treatment area, leading to side effects such as skin irritation and fatigue. HBOT can help to reduce these side effects by increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the damaged tissues.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly when inhaled in high concentrations. HBOT can help to reduce the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning by increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the bloodstream.
Traumatic Brain Injury
HBOT has been shown to improve outcomes in patients with traumatic brain injury by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to the affected area.
HBOT can help to reduce the damage caused by a stroke by increasing blood flow to the affected area and promoting the growth of new blood vessels.
HBOT can help to reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to the affected areas.
What to Expect During a Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Session
During an HBOT session, the patient will lie down inside a pressurized chamber. The pressure inside the chamber will gradually increase, causing the patient’s ears to pop, much like they would during takeoff in an airplane. Once the pressure has reached the desired level, the patient will begin to breathe in 100% oxygen through a mask or hood.
The length of an HBOT session can vary depending on the condition being treated, but typically lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. During this time, the patient can relax, read, or listen to music.
Possible Side Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Like any medical treatment, HBOT does carry some risks. Possible side effects can include:
- Ear pain
- Sinus pain
- Temporary nearsightedness
- Oxygen toxicity
- Seizures (in rare cases)
It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of HBOT with a healthcare professional before undergoing treatment.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works by delivering a higher concentration of oxygen to the body, which can help to heal damaged tissues and fight infection. If you or a loved one are suffering from any of the conditions listed above, HBOT may be a treatment option worth exploring.