Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established remedy for decompression sickness, a potential risk of scuba diving. Other conditions handled with hyperbaric oxygen remedy embrace serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.

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

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

Why it’s carried out

Your body’s tissues need an adequate provide of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the quantity of oxygen your blood can carry. With repeated scheduled remedies, the temporary further high oxygen levels encourage normal tissue oxygen levels, even after the therapy is completed.

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy is used to deal with several medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in several ways. Your physician might recommend hyperbaric oxygen remedy in case you have one of many following conditions:

Extreme 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 loss of life

Nonhealing wounds, resembling a diabetic foot ulcer

Radiation injury

Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death

Traumatic brain injury

Vision loss, sudden and painless


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is usually a safe procedure. Complications are rare. However this therapy does carry some risk.

Potential risks embrace:

Center ear injuries, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, because of modifications in air pressure

Momentary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by momentary eye lens modifications

Lung collapse caused by air pressure modifications (barotrauma)

Seizures as a result 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 — due to the oxygen-rich setting of the therapy chamber

The way you put together

You may be provided with a hospital-approved gown or scrubs to wear instead of common clothing through the procedure.

In your safety, items comparable to lighters or battery-powered units that generate heat should not allowed into the hyperbaric chamber. In addition, you could have to remove hair and skin care products which are petroleum primarily based, as they’re a possible fire hazard. Your health care staff will provide instruction on preparing you to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Throughout hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure but may also be provided while you might be hospitalized.

In general, 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 clear plastic chamber.

A room designed to accommodate a number of people. In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which usually looks like a big hospital room — chances are you’ll sit or lie down. Chances are you’ll obtain oxygen through a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood positioned over your head.

Whether you’re in an individual or multiperson atmosphere for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the benefits are the same.

During therapy, the air pressure in the room is about two to three times the traditional air pressure. The increased air pressure will create a short lived feeling of fullness in your ears — just like what you might really feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

For many conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy lasts approximately hours. Members of your health care staff will monitor you and the therapy unit all through your treatment.

After hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Your therapy crew assesses you including looking in your ears and taking your blood pressure and pulse. In case you have diabetes, your blood glucose is checked. As soon as the group decides you might be ready, you will get dressed and leave.

You may feel considerably tired or hungry following your treatment. This does not limit regular activities.


To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen remedy, you may likely want more than one session. The number of sessions relies upon your medical condition. Some conditions, equivalent to carbon monoxide poisoning, could be treated in three visits. Others, equivalent to nonhealing wounds, may require forty therapies or more.


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