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Understanding Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – How Does It Work?

This explains how hyperbaric oxygen therapy works for patients with stubborn chronic wounds. HBOT involves breathing pure oxygen under high air pressure in a special chamber—either a tube for one person (monoplane) or a room for several people simultaneously (multiple).

A patient might hear hissing as the oxygen chamber pressures (descent). They might feel pressure in the ears, similar to flying in an airplane, but this can be relieved by yawning or swallowing water.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is a medical treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. It is used to treat a variety of medical conditions.

Your doctor will evaluate you with a complete history and physical exam, possibly ordering labs to determine whether or not HBOT is right for you. He will develop a treatment plan based on your condition, symptoms’ severity, and health goals.

The human body can repair itself at a rate that is unique to each person. Age, underlying health issues, and how well the patient adheres to post-treatment care all affect the speed of how does hbot work for them.

During a session, the oxygen in your blood is increased by up to three times its average level due to higher air pressure than at sea level. This enables the oxygen delivered to insufficient tissues, such as those with impaired circulation, ischemic tissue, or infection.

HBOT also downregulates inflammatory pathways and increases your body’s stem cells (the building blocks of tissue), improving your ability to fight infections. This therapy may also enhance the effectiveness of certain antibiotics.

How Does HBOT Work?

HBOT involves sitting or lying in a pressure chamber filled with 100% oxygen. Your lungs collect the oxygen and deliver it to cells throughout your body that need it. The oxygen also helps fight infections and heal wounds.

Your healthcare provider might prescribe HBOT to treat carbon monoxide poisoning, severe burns, or slow-healing wounds. It’s also sometimes used to treat certain brain disorders, but more research is needed.

You should always receive HBOT from a medical professional in an accredited facility. It involves using a large machine called a hyperbaric chamber, usually a tube-shaped chamber holding one or more people.

Before entering the chamber, your healthcare provider might ask you to change into a gown or scrubs. They’ll also check your ears, sinuses, and lungs to ensure you can tolerate the pressure. You should avoid wearing perfume, deodorant, or flammable hair products because they might cause fires in the chamber.

What Are the Benefits of HBOT?

For many people, HBOT can help improve their health and quality of life. It stimulates growth factors that can promote healing, encourage the formation of new blood vessels, and bolster the immune system. It also decompresses carbon monoxide bubbles, treats burns and heals wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers, radiation cystitis, and compromised skin grafts.

The high oxygen concentration in the chamber helps to increase oxygen diffusion throughout the body and saturates cells, triggering beneficial responses. HBOT also downregulates inflammation, strengthens the immune system, and enhances cellular energy production.

HBOT is safe when provided by healthcare professionals using FDA-approved chambers at an accredited facility. Some conditions may require multiple sessions. The time spent in the chamber depends on your age, the condition you’re receiving treatment, and your general health. Before you start, your doctor will review your health history to ensure it’s safe. Your doctor may also consider whether you have any medical implant devices or are taking certain medications.

What Are the Side Effects of HBOT?

HBOT increases the concentration of oxygen in your body fluids to promote healing. This is especially true in brain and spinal fluid, enabling damaged neurons to regenerate and help your brain and spine heal from stroke or trauma.

It also helps your blood vessels expand, allowing revitalized tissue to thrive even after the treatment protocol has ended. Finally, it enhances stem cells in your circulation, boosting their power to differentiate into new tissue.

Most of these benefits are experienced during your sessions, and the number of sessions required varies depending on your condition. Your treatment will start with a medical consultation typically covered by insurance and takes one hour. A certified healthcare professional will evaluate your condition and determine if you qualify for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. They will also establish a treatment plan and ensure no contraindications to the procedure. Then, you can go to the HBOT chamber, where a technician will remain in visual and voice contact with you throughout your treatment.

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