Understanding Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
How much do you know about hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)? If you’re like most people, it’s probably not very much. If you have heard of it, you probably know that it’s used for treating deep-sea and scuba divers who have been affected by rapid pressure changes. What most people don’t know is that HBOT is also used to treat a variety of other health issues. While some claims of what it can do are still being studied here in the USA, there are many indications for HBOT that have been cleared by the FDA. Here, we offer a look into this innovative treatment and its uses.
The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Process Explained
It involves breathing pure oxygen in a hyperbaric chamber under increased pressure, but how does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work? There are two types of hyperbaric chamber used. The monoplace chamber is shown in the picture above, and is built for one person, while the multiplace chamber can fit two or more people at once and looks like a small submarine. The results of treatment in both of these chambers is essentially the same: in the monoplace chamber, the air pressure inside the chamber is slowly raised, using 100 percent oxygen, until it is higher than the air pressure outside of the chamber. The main difference between monoplace and multiplace chambers is that, the a monoplace chamber is pressurized, with 100% pure Oxygen while a multiplace chamber is pressurized with Medical Air and requires the people inside to breathe the oxygen through masks or hoods.
The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Mechanism
HBOT works using increased oxygen delivery, as well as increased pressure. Normally, we breathe air that is 21 percent oxygen. By using pressurized 100 percent oxygen in the chamber, hyperbaric oxygen therapy encourages the lungs to take up to 15% more oxygen, delivering more oxygen to your tissues. This allows the injured tissues to begin to heal at a faster rate, and it can also help the body fight certain infections. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been approved by the FDA for many different conditions, including:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Cyanide poisoning
- Crush injuries
- Gas gangrene (a form of gangrene in which gas collects in tissues)
- Decompression sickness (the bends)
- Acute or traumatic reduced blood flow in the arteries
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Bone infection that doesn’t respond to other treatment
- Delayed radiation injury after cancer treatment
- Flesh-eating disease (necrotizing soft tissue infection)
- Air or gas bubble trapped in a blood vessel
- Chronic infection
- Non-healing diabetic wounds
There are other uses of HBOT that have not yet been approved in the USA as yet, and researchers are continually testing this technology for different applications. Long Covid, for example, is a syndrome for which hyperbaric oxygen therapy has shown great promise, and HBOT is being tested for use with COVID-19, as well. There are also clinical trials for the use of HBOT for stroke, fibromyalgia, ulcerative colitis, and much more. As our understanding of this process grows, the treatment of more conditions will be approved by the FDA.
Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Explained
The benefits of HBOT are numerous. It brings oxygen-rich plasma to wounds, reducing swelling and preventing tissue death. It can also prevent reperfusion injury, which is a type of severe damage that occurs when blood supply returns to oxygen-starved tissues. HBOT strengthens the immune system, while killing of anaerobic bacteria. It also encourages new blood vessels to grow, encouraging the formation of new collagen and skin cells.
Learn More About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Innovators in hyperbaric medicine, Baromedical Associates provides the most advanced and effective therapy available, offering expert services in a luxurious, private setting. Our certified, experienced technicians and multi-disciplinary physicians work to provide each individual with a treatment program designed to offer the best possible outcome. We are internationally known for our work with children, and we treat all ages at our clinics in the Dallas Metro area. At all of our state-of-the-art clinics, patients receive Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in the world’s most advanced and spacious clear acrylic single person chambers. To find a location or for more information, contact us through our website.