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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Published on September 30th, 2015

Most people have never heard of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) unless they are divers, but it is available as a method of treating many different things, which could be beneficial to you, particularly if you prefer more holistic treatments. Therefore, it is important to know what it will treat and where you can go to get treatments. HBOT requires you to breathe in pure oxygen through a pressurized tube. However, there are many facilities that offer an entire room filled with pure oxygen, so you can feel more comfortable during treatment.

How It Works

When you are sitting in the room or chamber, the air pressure will increase up to three times higher than traditional pressures. Because of this, your lungs gather in more air, which can then be carried to the rest of the body through your blood. It can also stimulate certain substances to be released and fight off bacteria.

What It Treats

The most common use for the treatment is for decompression sickness, which is a common hazard of scuba diving. However, it can also be used to effectively treat severe anemia, brain abscesses, air bubbles in the blood vessels, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, and sudden deafness. It can also be used to treat radiation injuries, vision loss, and gangrene. Studies are being done now to find out if this treatment plan can be used to help those with asthma, autism, arthritis, allergies, and much more.

Risks

While hyperbaric oxygen therapy is considered safe, there are a few risks involved, including temporary nearsightedness, middle ear injuries, and lung collapse. Other problems can include fires within the treatment chamber and seizures because of too much air in the body.

Preparing For the Treatment

Because there is a risk of fire, you shouldn’t have battery-powered devices or lighters with you in the tube. You may also be asked not to shower before the treatment, as petroleum-based hair and body products could cause a fire to erupt. Your health care provider will be able to give you more instructions, so make sure to ask them.

Where It’s Done

HBOT treatments can be done in many places. In some cases, your private physician will have chambers available though most will prefer to send you to a clinic or hospital. If you require this treatment, you can ask the prescribing doctor where to go for the treatment or can find options online.


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