The air we breathe holds 21% oxygen. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy provides 100% pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. Additionally, this “hyperbaric” (or high pressure) dose of oxygen offers unique therapeutic benefits and can be used to treat a handful of illnesses. It may be the primary treatment for some disorders, but it is more often combined with antibiotics and surgery.
How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Works
You will be breathing 100% oxygen while placed in a comfortable Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. The chamber is then pressurized. The therapy helps to drastically increase the amount of oxygen delivered to body tissues by your blood.
Furthermore, it is crucial to note that the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy result from an oxygen-enriched bloodstream and not from the oxygen’s direct contact with wounds.
As a result, this is usually why wound dressings are generally left in place during treatment. Your doctor will discuss the specific reason for your referral to Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy, but typically this treatment provides one or more of the following effects:
Enhanced wound healing
Increased oxygen delivery to injured tissue
Improved infection control
Greater blood vessel formation
Preservation of damaged tissues
Elimination and reduced effects of toxic substances
Reduction or elimination of gas-bubble obstructions
You’ll be Relaxed and Comfortable During Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments occur while you lie comfortably in the Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber.
During certain parts of the treatment, you may experience a sensation of fullness in your ears — comparable to when you’re flying in an airplane or driving down a mountain — as your eardrums respond to pressure changes. Prior to treatment, you will be taught several easy methods to avoid ear discomfort.
The Number of Treatments With Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy
Treatments are individualized to each patient. Wound healing cases may require 20 to 30 treatments for maximum benefit.
Your hyperbaric medicine team will generally discuss your treatment course with you in full detail before Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy starts. The exact number of treatments will be determined by your response to actual Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
After-Effects Are Not Much
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy usually has no after effects. Some patients report a “crackling” in their ears between treatments. This can be relieved the same way ears are cleared of pressure changes during treatment.
A few individuals may experience lightheadedness for several minutes after treatment, but this will soon pass, allowing resumption of normal daily activities. On rare occasions, patients may develop temporary changes in eyesight. In these cases, any altered vision usually returns to pretreatment levels within six to eight weeks after treatment ends.
Naturally, like all medical treatments, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy introduces some risks, but these are quite rare and will be discussed with you before you consent to therapy.
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