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Hyperbaric Therapy - A Popular Method That Can Treat Many Diseases

Hyperbaric therapy, or hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), is a sort of treatment used to hasten the recovery of infections where tissues are oxygen-starved, gangrene, wounds that won't heal, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

You enter a special chamber for this therapy where the air pressure is 1.5 to 3 times greater than usual, allowing you to breathe only pure oxygen.

The objective is to provide the blood with adequate oxygen to heal tissues and return the body to its natural state.

Purified oxygen is breathed in a pressurized environment during hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Decompression sickness, which can occur while scuba diving, has a well-established treatment in the form of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Serious infections, air bubbles in your blood vessels, and wounds that may not heal as a result of diabetes or radiation exposure are among the other illnesses that can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

An illustration of how to prepare for hybperbaric chamber treatment
An illustration of how to prepare for hybperbaric chamber treatment

The air pressure is two to three times higher than normal in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy room.

Your lungs can absorb a lot more oxygen in these circumstances than they could if you were inhaling pure oxygen at standard air pressure.

The increased oxygen that your blood delivers throughout your body aids in the battle against infection and triggers the release of growth factors and stem cells, which aid in the healing process.

How Does Hyperbaric Therapy Work?

There are several items available that some say can hasten your recovery. There seems to be a brand-new miraculous treatment for everything, from chicken soup to energy drinks.

What about something that has been shown to truly hasten the healing process?

  • Hyperbaric therapy can help with it. In hyperbaric therapy, patients breathe only pure oxygen while within a chamber that has been compressed to two or three times the pressure of the outside air.
  • This boosts the blood's oxygen content, which may aid in hastening the healing process.
  • Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of burns, infections, and wounds.
  • Therefore, hyperbaric therapy may be something to think about if you're looking for a way to heal those bothersome injuries a little bit quicker.

Just don't anticipate seeing it in a can at your neighborhood supermarket.

5 patients sitting inside the hyperbaric chamber
5 patients sitting inside the hyperbaric chamber

Facts

The early 20th century saw the introduction of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the United States.

The U.S. Navy used the therapy once more in the 1940s to treat deep-sea divers who were suffering from decompression sickness.

The therapy was applied to the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning by the 1960s.

Scuba divers who are ill and those who have carbon monoxide poisoning, such as firefighters and miners, are still treated with it today.

Additionally, it has received approval for more than a dozen ailments, from bone disease to burns, including:

  • Poisoning by carbon monoxide.
  • Cyanide toxicity.
  • Crush wounds.
  • Gangrene gas (a form of gangrene in which gas collects in tissues).Decompression sickness.
  • A sudden or traumatic reduction in arterial blood flow.Insecure skin flaps and grafts.
  • Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that is unresponsive to other treatments.
  • Injury from delayed radiation.
  • A flesh-eating illness (necrotizing soft tissue infection).
  • In a blood vessel, there is an air or gas bubble (air or gas embolism).
  • Actinomycosis is a persistent and acute infection.
  • Diabetes lesions that are not healing properly.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for certain illnesses is typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurance companies, though this may not always be the case.

Check with your insurance plan to find out if it is covered and whether you require pre-authorization before treatment.

Be advised that HBOT is not thought to be a safe and reliable treatment for all illnesses.

HIV/AIDS, brain injuries, heart conditions, strokes, asthma, depression, spinal cord injuries, and sports injuries are a few of them.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Benefits

By supplying oxygen-rich plasma to tissues deficient in oxygen, HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) promotes wound healing.

Damage to the body's blood vessels from wounds results in the discharge of fluid, which seeps into the tissues and causes swelling.

As a result of the swelling depriving the injured cells of oxygen, the tissue begins to deteriorate.

While oxygenating the tissues, HBOT lowers edema. The chamber's increased pressure raises the blood's oxygen content.

With HBOT, the vicious cycle of swelling, oxygen deprivation, and tissue death is broken.

"Reperfusion damage" is avoided with HBOT.

When the blood supply is restored to the tissues after they have been depleted of oxygen, severe tissue damage takes place.

For example, when a crush injury interrupts blood flow, a chain of events inside the damaged cells causes the release of dangerous oxygen radicals.

These chemicals have the potential to permanently harm tissues. They stop blood flow by causing the blood vessels to constrict.

HBOT helps the body's oxygen radical scavengers find the problematic molecules and promotes healing.

HBOT fortifies the immune system of the body and aids in preventing the action of harmful bacteria.

HBOT can neutralize the toxins of certain bacteria. Additionally, it raises the tissue's oxygen saturation level.

They can ward off infections thanks to this. The treatment also enhances white blood cells' capacity to identify and eliminate invaders.

HBOT promotes the growth of fresh skin cells and collagen. It does this by promoting the development of new blood vessels.

Additionally, it encourages the production of specific compounds by cells, such as vascular endothelial growth factor. These draw and energize endothelial cells that are essential for healing.

A lady lying inside the white hyperbaric chamber
A lady lying inside the white hyperbaric chamber

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Side Effects

The use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is typically risk-free. Rare complications do occur.

But there is considerable risk involved with this treatment. Risks that may exist include:

  • Middle ear damage is brought on by changes in air pressure, such as fluid leakage and eardrum rupture.
  • Temporary myopia (nearsightedness) is brought on by transient alterations in the eye's lens.
  • Lung collapse is brought on by variations in air pressure (barotrauma).
  • Seizures are brought on by a central nervous system that is too oxygenated (oxygen toxicity).
  • Reduced blood sugar levels in those with diabetes receiving insulin treatment.
  • Due to the oxygen-rich environment of the treatment chamber, fire can occur under certain conditions.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Cost

Off-label diseases will probably require HBOT treatment from a private practitioner, and insurance will probably not pay for it at all.

In this instance, depending on where the services are provided, the cost per treatment will typically range from $250 to $450.

People Also Ask

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Good For You?

Yes, HBOT is good for you. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve circulation and oxygenation, enabling the oxygen to create and repair damaged blood vessels and stimulate the formation of collagen, which promotes healing.

Who Is Not A Candidate For Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

The only patient who cannot receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one who has an untreated pneumothorax. All patients should have lung imaging before receiving treatment.

How Often Should You Do Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Depending on the individual ailment being treated, a different number and frequency of treatments may be required. One treatment a day (Monday through Friday) for a total of 20 to 30 treatments is often administered for four to six weeks for numerous ailments.

Conclusion

A number of different medical disorders are frequently treated using hyperbaric therapy, which is an intriguing treatment option.

Hyperbaric therapy has been proven to be beneficial for ailments like decompression sickness, wounds that are not healing properly, and specific infections.

Always keep in mind that your safety should always be your top concern, so don't be afraid to contact the doctor or any professional if you're unsure or have any other questions.

About The Authors

Karan Emery

Karan Emery - I'm a research scientist interested in learning more about how neural activity influences and shapes human behavior. Project design and management, data analysis and interpretation, and the creation and implementation of testing tools are among my specialties. I enjoy coming up with new ideas and coming up with practical solutions to issues that are widely applicable. My colleagues would describe me as a driven, resourceful individual who maintains a positive, proactive attitude when faced with adversity. Currently, I’m seeking opportunities that will allow me to develop and promote technologies that benefit human health. Specific fields of interest include data analytics, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.

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