According to Webster’s dictionary, in medical terms, hyperbaric means: “of, or relating to, or utilizing greater than normal pressure, especially of oxygen.” It has been known for many years that oxygen helps to speed the healing and regeneration of tissue that has been damaged.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy exposes wounds and/or damaged tissues or nerves to 100% oxygen at a higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure. The increase in pressure above sea level allows more oxygen to enter the lungs and therefore into the bloodstream.
Wounds have damaged blood vessels that leak fluid. As the area swells from this leaking fluid, it becomes more difficult for oxygenated blood to reach the wound. Hyperbaric therapy reduces swelling of the tissue so that oxygen can reach the wound and assist (hyperbaric oxygen therapy at home) in healing. It can disable the toxins of some bacteria and helps the tissue resist infection.
Believe it or not, the first foray into hyperbaric medicine was in 1662 when a physician built a sealed room with valves and bellows as it was believed that certain respiratory diseases could be treated this way.
In the early 1900s, it was used to treat decompression sickness in divers. In the 1960’s it was routinely used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning. Today, hyperbaric therapy has been approved for several health conditions:
Those listed above are what “insurance” deems appropriate use of hyperbaric therapy and for which they will cover the therapy. There are other “off-label” uses such as a cognitive decline in the brain, Alzheimer's disease, aging, fibromyalgia, PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and Lyme disease to name a few. Although there has been success documented with the off-label use of hyperbaric oxygen, these conditions are not recognized by insurances as treatable via hyperbaric therapy and are therefore not covered.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is available with a prescription by your physician or health care provider. If you are ordered to be on this therapy, your provider will arrange for you to go to a hospital or private practice that has a hyperbaric chamber.
The doctor and technicians who man the chamber will give you instructions on how to dress and what to expect when you do go for HBO2 sessions. There are some “contra-indications” for hyperbaric treatment. The main ones are hypertension and high (over 300) or low (under 100) glucose levels. Hyperbaric does not come without risks.
The main risk of therapy is barotrauma from the increase in pressure. This can cause havoc on the sinuses, and eardrums, a tooth can crack or lung tissue can be damaged. There is also a risk of oxygen toxicity, seizures, visual changes, or pneumothorax.
Shallow Dive 26" Hyperbaric Chamber is manufactured for self-treatment and assisted use. The E-series chamber shell has a translucent material that allows room light to diffuse into the chamber. The chamber also has an airflow that relies on electric air compressors operated with patented air suppression technology to maintain a relaxing atmosphere. The single bag nylon shell is easy to maneuver due to its lightweight and creates a durable seal.
The 33" diameter and a length of 102" make Summit to Sea Dive Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber large enough to accommodate an adult and a child simultaneously. This HBO chamber uses sound-suppression technology on the high-efficiency air compressor to calm the atmosphere with huge windows that allow natural light. The dive chamber also has a full-length, double-sided zipper for convenient entry and exit.
Summit to Sea Grand Dive Vertical Hyperbaric Chamber is a portable mild hyperbaric chamber. It is designed to allow a chair to sit cozily, providing occupants with a relaxing and comfortable experience. It has dual zippers that enable operation outside and inside the chamber. The redundant compressors offer optimal reliability, and translucent material allows a bright and airy interior.
While in the HBO chamber, the person lies on a table and breathes oxygen. Meanwhile, the pressure inside the chamber slowly increases. The barometric therapy may be over in less than 5 minutes or may continue for as long as two hours before the pressure returns to normal levels.
Hyperbolic chamber treatment is also carried out at home. Anyone can buy a home hyperbaric chamber with a prescription issued by a health professional.
Studies have shown that hyperbaric medicine can stop the aging of the blood cells in healthy adults. Experts also suggest that HBO therapy also reverses the aging process.
Supplemental O2 is not a cure for lung disease, but it is an important therapy that improves the functioning of the lungs and eases the symptoms of severe ailments.
Barometric oxygen treatment is not addictive and does not weaken the lungs. Following all the instructions given by your doctor and using the O2 chamber only for the duration prescribed by professionals can offer optimum benefit.
Wounds need oxygen to heal properly. A hyperbaric wound care strategy exposes a wound to 100% oxygen, enhancing the chances of quicker recovery.
Since the air pressure within the chamber is higher than normal air pressure, the increased air pressure creates a temporary feeling of fullness in the ears and possibly sinuses, quite similar to the feeling one gets in a flight or at a high elevation.
The duration of the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can vary depending on the specific condition being treated and individual factors. In some cases, the effects of a single HBOT session may be temporary and short-lived, while in others, the benefits can be long-lasting.
Oxygen therapy, in general, is considered to have beneficial effects on depression symptoms and relieve stress. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments facilitate the body with 100 percent oxygen and help treat PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. Moreover, the increased oxygen levels also improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and promote the growth of new tissue and blood vessels. HBOT for stress relief and well-being is a widely accepted treatment measure.
There are hyperbaric chambers available for purchase with a prescription. If you feel you would benefit from this therapy, have a discussion with your physician or healthcare provider and they will direct you. To purchase your own chamber, please visit Health Products For You, we have a selection to suit your needs. Happy Healing!
Author Profile: Laura Castricone, Respiratory Therapist
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