Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of the most versatile treatment methods out there. It is known for a wide variety of medical benefits. This can be attributed to the fact that the therapy itself is very simple, but effective.
So what exactly is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and how does it work? This flexible type of treatment can be used for a number of serious conditions—and it works using a hyperbaric chamber. Today we’re going to discuss how these special oxygen chambers work, and how they can benefit patients!
What does each therapy session entail? Let’s find out.
What is HBOT?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe and non-invasive form of therapy. There’s no need to be alarmed if your doctor recommends it!
Each session involves entering a hyperbaric chamber and lying down comfortably. The patient stays there for up to 2 hours—although the time spent inside the chamber may vary according to the patient’s condition.
The air pressure inside the hyperbaric chamber is increased up to three times the normal rate. This allows the patient’s lungs to take in more oxygen at a time—hence the name hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Their oxygen intake is increased, allowing their blood to carry more oxygen throughout their body.
All of this happens while the patient rests and relaxes inside the hyperbaric chamber.
What is it for?
Lying down in a hyperbaric chamber for a while may sound intimidating to some people. And so it is important to emphasize the benefits of this treatment.
Oxygen can do a lot of great things for your body. Keeping us alive is only one of it. This is what makes HBOT such a flexible form of therapy.
Initially, HBOT was used to recompress divers. Decompression is a very common hazard for scuba divers. However, it didn’t take long for it to be discovered that the treatment also worked for serious wounds and infections.
It was in 1965 that hyperbaric oxygen therapy was used to treat victims of a coal mine explosion. They were subjected to HBOT to treat their CO poisoning, but the increased oxygen also accelerated their body’s natural healing ability.
The treatment is not necessary for simple wounds, but it works well for serious cases like diabetic wounds, venous stasis ulcers, and non-healing wounds. Hypoxia is a condition that prevents wounds from healing due to insufficient oxygen supply.
Our bodies constantly require oxygen in order to survive. It needs even more oxygen when injured so that it can repair itself. HBOT also helps fight bacteria while strengthening the immune system.
On top of that, HBOT works well as a complementary treatment for cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment by reducing inflammation.
Is it Safe?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a very effective form of treatment that operates under a simple idea: the body could use a little extra oxygen every now and then. It is so effective that medical experts are still looking for more ways to make use of this treatment.
It is possible that more uses for HBOT will be discovered in the future.
Now the only question that remains is: “are hyperbaric oxygen chambers safe?”
HBOT is a safe treatment. You can even buy and operate your own hyperbaric chamber if it is recommended by your doctor. Some people rent hyperbaric chambers.
Side effects do occur, albeit rarely. The patient may experience mild sinus discomfort, pulmonary oxygen toxicity, and brief short-sightedness. Some patients feel a little claustrophobic inside the chamber.
It’s a good idea to consult your doctor before trying this treatment, to see if it’s a good fit for the patient’s condition.
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