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What is the FDA's Role in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Known as HBOT, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat various medical conditions. It is a non-invasive treatment that uses a special chamber with an increased pressure. This pressure causes the oxygen to reach places that would not normally reach. This promotes the growth of new skin and blood cells. It also increases the blood's oxygen carrying capacity. In addition, it can speed the healing process for certain infections, such as gangrene, and reduce the swelling of wounds.

HBOT is commonly used by scuba divers and other divers who have decompression sickness. It is also beneficial for people who have had a stroke or brain trauma. However, the treatment has not been proven to cure cancer, diabetes, or autism. Fortunately, many insurance companies will cover the costs of the treatment. However, most insurance plans will require pre-authorization before a person can be treated.


While HBOT has been approved by the FDA, the medical community has been skeptical about the treatment's effectiveness. However, a number of studies have been conducted to examine the effects of the therapy. The FDA has reviewed the research and has approved thirteen medical conditions for use in hyperbaric chambers. Some of the conditions include:

The first hyperbaric chambers were created in the United States in 1891 by J. Leonard Corning. He discovered that construction workers who worked on the Hudson Tunnel in New York suffered from a severe form of decompression sickness. The chamber was used to treat this disease, which caused acute muscle pain and paralysis.


HBOT is believed to work by stimulating the production of certain chemicals in the cells. These chemicals attract healing cells and encourage the growth of new blood vessels, skin cells, and collagen. The increased oxygen also encourages the release of growth factors, which help the body fight infections. HBOT has also been effective in treating soft tissue injuries caused by radiation.


While there are numerous medical conditions for which HBOT is effective, there are also several side effects associated with the treatment. Some of these side effects are mild, such as headaches, tiredness, or claustrophobia. Others may be more serious, such as seizures and lung failure. Other complications include eye damage, sinus problems, lung collapse, and low blood sugar.


HBOT is often used in combination with other therapies. However, this treatment is not recommended for patients with recent ear surgery, colds, fevers, or certain types of lung disease. The treatment can also cause mild injuries.


HBOT has also been used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning. During the 1960s, the U.S. Navy studied the use of HBOT in treating decompression sickness. It also investigated the treatment of pandemic influenza. In addition, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society's Committee on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy recommends HBOT for osteomyelitis and thermal burns. However, HBOT has not been proven to treat cancer, autism, or diabetes.


In addition to the risk of seizure, oxygen poisoning can lead to lung failure. In addition, patients with pre-existing seizure disorders have a higher risk of experiencing seizures.

Learn more about Wound care using HBOT

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