The tissues of your body require an adequate supply of oxygen to function properly. Time spent undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) increases the amount of oxygen in your blood which, in turn, temporarily restores the normal levels of blood gases and tissue function necessary to fight infection and promote healing.
Breathing New Fuel Into Your Body
Oxygen is the body’s fuel. Without it, we flounder. As a growing method of specialized medical treatment, hyperbaric oxygen therapy saturates the body’s tissues, fluids, and cells with 100% oxygen under pressure to help with wound recovery and natural healing.
Patients suffering from any of the following medical conditions may benefit from HBOT:
- Burns and skin grafts
- Severe anemia
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Bone or skin infection that causes tissue death
- Radiation injuries
- Sudden and painless vision loss
- Nonhealing wounds, like a diabetic foot ulcer
- Crushing injury
The side effects or symptoms of some of the following diseases have been known to be effectively resolved or minimized with HBOT:
- Cancer/radiation injuries
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
Inoperable or solid tumors often have good results with an HBOT that is followed by radiation. The hyperbaric oxygen chamber provides an anaerobic or hypoxic environment in which tumors cannot grow. Oxygen is also immune boosting and anti-inflammatory, which helps with post-radiation treatment side effects.
HBOT is administered as part of an overall medical care plan. The goal is for the hyperbaric oxygen therapy to enhance and support the other treatments you are undergoing for your condition. Specialized medical treatment often works in tandem with traditional medical recommendations to give patients a more hopeful outlook on life and healing.
How Does HBOT Work?
To administer hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients rest or recline in a total-body hyperbaric chamber. Within the chamber, the atmospheric pressure is controlled and oxygen is delivered at a rate greater than atmospheric pressure.
The intent behind HBOT is to physically reduce the size of the gas bubbles that are behind your health crisis, dissolve excess gas, and eliminate bubbles. HBOT is used as part of your comprehensive treatment plan, whether that includes other types of therapy, treatment, or medication.
Specialists in alternative medicine determine what kind of HBOT treatment schedule will be most beneficial for your condition. More than one session is likely, but the recommendation will depend on your medical condition. Some problems may be treated in just two or three visits while others may require 20 to 40 treatments.
What to Expect During and After Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Usually performed as an outpatient procedure, HBOT is typically administered in one of two ways: you lie down on a table that is slid into a clear plastic tube for you alone; or, you are situated in a hyperbaric oxygen room that accommodates several patients at one time. Oxygen will be administered through a face mask or a lightweight, clear hood that is placed over your head.
During HBOT, you may feel like your ears are blocked or full. The increased air pressure – about two to three times the normal air pressure – can be relieved by swallowing or yawning. A typical therapy treatment lasts about two hours and you will be monitored by a medical professional for the duration of the treatment. After hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you may find that you feel hungry or tired, but your normal daily activities should not be limited.
Because of the nature of the treatment, some patients who have claustrophobia may not be the ideal candidates for HBOT. Discuss your concerns and questions about the physical act of undergoing HBOT before agreeing to the treatment. While HBOT may sound appropriate for your health needs, developing anxiety because of how the treatment is administered will ultimately not be beneficial. Inform your medical professional about any fears you have concerning HBOT or any other specialized medical services.
If you would like to learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy, contact us at the Longevity Health Institute in Rochester Hills, MI, to schedule your appointment with our team.