Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy includes breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. Hyperbaric oxygen remedy is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, a potential risk of scuba diving. Different conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen remedy embrace critical infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that will not heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.

In a hyperbaric oxygen remedy chamber, the air pressure is elevated two to a few occasions higher than regular air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can collect much more oxygen than could be doable breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.

When your blood carries this extra oxygen throughout your body, this helps struggle micro organism and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Why it’s done

Your body’s tissues want an adequate provide of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen remedy increases the quantity of oxygen your blood can carry. With repeated scheduled therapies, the non permanent additional high oxygen levels encourage regular tissue oxygen levels, even after the remedy is completed.

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy is used to deal with a number of medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in several ways. Your doctor may counsel hyperbaric oxygen therapy you probably have one of the following conditions:

Severe anemia

Brain abscess

Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)


Carbon monoxide poisoning

Crushing injury

Deafness, sudden

Decompression sickness


An infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death

Nonhealing wounds, akin to a diabetic foot ulcer

Radiation injury

Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue loss of life

Traumatic brain injury

Vision loss, sudden and painless


Hyperbaric oxygen remedy is usually a safe procedure. Complications are rare. But this treatment does carry some risk.

Potential risks embrace:

Center ear injuries, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, resulting from adjustments in air pressure

Temporary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by non permanent eye lens modifications

Lung collapse caused by air pressure modifications (barotrauma)

Seizures on account of too much oxygen (oxygen poisonousity) in your central nervous system

Lowered blood sugar in people who have diabetes handled with insulin

In certain circumstances, fire — as a result of oxygen-rich environment of the treatment chamber

The way you prepare

You may be provided with a hospital-approved gown or scrubs to wear rather than regular clothing throughout the procedure.

On your safety, items equivalent to lighters or battery-powered gadgets that generate heat aren’t allowed into the hyperbaric chamber. In addition, you might need to remove hair and skin care products that are petroleum primarily based, as they are a potential fire hazard. Your health care staff will provide instruction on making ready you to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

During hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure but can be provided while you are hospitalized.

Typically, there are types of hyperbaric oxygen chambers:

A unit designed for 1 person. In a person (monoplace) unit, you lie down on a table that slides into a transparent plastic chamber.

A room designed to accommodate a number of people. In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which often looks like a large hospital room — chances are you’ll sit or lie down. You might receive oxygen by means of a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.

Whether you are in an individual or multiperson surroundings for hyperbaric oxygen remedy, the benefits are the same.

During therapy, the air pressure in the room is about to a few instances the conventional air pressure. The increased air pressure will create a brief feeling of fullness in your ears — similar to what you may feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You possibly can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

For most conditions, hyperbaric oxygen remedy lasts approximately two hours. Members of your health care team will monitotherwise you and the therapy unit throughout your treatment.

After hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Your remedy crew assesses you including looking in your ears and taking your blood pressure and pulse. When you have diabetes, your blood glucose is checked. Once the group decides you’re ready, you can get dressed and leave.

It’s possible you’ll feel considerably tired or hungry following your treatment. This doesn’t limit regular activities.


To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you will likely need more than one session. The number of classes is dependent upon your medical condition. Some conditions, comparable to carbon monoxide poisoning, is perhaps treated in three visits. Others, equivalent to nonhealing wounds, could require forty therapies or more.


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