What is Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Overview

 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment for decompression sickness, which can be fatal if not treated. It involves breathing pure oxygen in pressurized environments and has been shown effective at reducing the risk of developing this condition while divers are underwater or on land trips where they may come into contact with compressed air that causes pain upon release (such as when leaving an airplane).

Other conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include:

  • Serious infections.

  • Bubbles of air in blood vessels.

  • Wounds that may not heal because of diabetes or radiation injury.

 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical procedure that increases the amount of air you breathe in order to provide your body with more nutrients and allow it repair damage. In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is doubled sometimes tripled. The purpose for this is to allow, your lungs can gather much more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.

This extra oxygen helps fight bacteria. It also triggers the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

 

Purpose of this treatment

Your body's tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. With repeated treatments, the temporary extra high oxygen levels encourage normal tissue oxygen levels, even after the therapy is completed.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been used for many years as a treatment option in medical settings. The purpose of this procedure can be to improve symptoms associated with several different conditions, and there are various ways that institutions use it throughout their organization.

Your health care provider may recommend using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat any one of the following conditions:

  • Severe anemia.

  • Brain abscess.

  • Bubbles of air in your blood vessels, known as arterial gas embolism.

  • Burns.

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Crushing injury.

  • Deafness, sudden.

  • Decompression sickness.

  • Gangrene.

  • Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death.

  • Nonhealing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer.

  • Radiation injury.

  • Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death.

  • Traumatic brain injury.

  • Vision loss, sudden and painless.

 

Potential Risks

While Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally a safe procedure, as with any treatment’s complications can happen, they are rare, but the chance of risk is existent.

Potential risks include:

  • Middle ear injuries, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, due to changes in air pressure.

  • Temporary nearsightedness, called myopia, caused by temporary eye lens changes.

  • Lung collapse caused by air pressure changes, called barotrauma.

  • Seizures as a result of too much oxygen, also called oxygen toxicity, in your central nervous system.

  • Lowered blood sugar in people who have diabetes treated with insulin.

  • In certain circumstances, fire — due to the oxygen-rich environment of the treatment chamber.

 

Preparing for Treatment

You'll be provided with a hospital-approved gown or scrubs to wear in place of regular clothing during the procedure. For your safety, items such as lighters and battery powered devices that generate heat are not allowed into the hyperbaric chamber (this includes waterproofing).

 You also may need remove any hair care products containing petroleum-based ingredients because they're potential fire hazards! Your health care team will provide instruction on preparing you for oxygen therapy which can include instructions about what type is best suited depending upon where it's being applied--from ears down below etc…

 

What you can expect

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy

The individual hyperbaric oxygen unit, also called a monoplace or pop-up machine is used for treatment. This small device allows you to breathe in pure bottled air at high pressure and temperature inside your body which increases the amount of oxygen that reaches different parts within its limitations such as deep inhalation rates where normal breathing would not provide enough gas by itself due to respond faster than when simply exposed outside air since.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure but also can be provided as an inpatient.

In general, there are two types of hyperbaric oxygen chambers:

  • A unit designed for one person. In an individual unit, you lie down on a table that slides into a clear plastic chamber. This is known as a monoplace unit.

  • A room designed to accommodate several people. A multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room usually looks like a large hospital room. You may sit or lie down during treatment. You may receive oxygen through a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.

Either one you are treated in, individual or multiperson environment for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the benefits are the same.

  • During therapy, the increased air pressure will create a temporary feeling of fullness in your ears. This is similar to what you might feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

  • For most conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy lasts approximately two hours.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Post Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an effective treatment for many different conditions. One of the ways it can help your condition, and make you feel better too! Your therapist may check up on what's going in after each session- this includes taking blood pressure or pulse rates along with checking if there are any signs that suggest diabetes was diagnosed during our visit (such as high glucose levels). Once ready we recommend getting dressed straight away so as not to disrupt anything else around us while waiting patiently at home until everything finishes processing fully; but don't worry

Results

In order for hyperbaric oxygen therapy to be successful, more than one session is recommended dependent on your particular condition. For Example, carbon monoxide poisoning, might be treated in three visits.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an important part of a treatment plan for approved medical conditions. This may include other therapies and medications that are designed to fit your unique needs, so be sure you receive all the care needed!

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