Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) elevates the pressure of oxygen in your blood and tissues. It allows five to ten times more oxygen to reach areas of your body starved for oxygen.
Additionally, HBOT promotes the development of fresh blood vessels and diminishes inflammation. It can help heal injuries like sprains, pulled muscles, and severe injuries.
During HBOT treatment, you sit or lie in a tube called a hyperbaric chamber. The oxygen pressure inside the chamber is increased to twice or three times the expected atmosphere, which helps your blood vessels bring more oxygen to tissues that may have been starved of oxygen for some reason, like a wound.
The oxygen boost also makes your white blood cells more active. That makes them better able to identify bacterial infections and more effective at killing rogue bacteria, such as the bacteria that cause chronic refractory osteomyelitis (bone infection).
HBOT has improved chronic pain symptoms, especially in patients with musculoskeletal conditions like spinal cord injury. It can also help rehabilitate patients who have had concussions or traumatic brain injuries.
HBOT is well known for treating scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness (DCS). It also treats carbon monoxide poisoning, wounds, and diabetic foot ulcers.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory biochemicals that help reduce specific cytokines (biochemicals that promote inflammation) and increase the body’s ability to fight off bacterial infections. That enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria and viruses and promotes the healing of wounds, brain injuries, and vascular problems.
When you receive HBOT treatment, you lie on a gurney inside the clear chamber and can see all directions around you so you don’t feel claustrophobic. You can enjoy music or a movie during your 20-40 session treatment spanning 4-6 weeks.
HBOT treats conditions caused by inflammation, including chronic wounds, infections, and traumatic brain injuries. It decreases the action of harmful bacteria by disabling their toxins and increases the concentration of oxygen in tissues, which strengthens cells to resist infection. It also encourages white blood cells to find and destroy bacteria, reduces swelling, and stimulates the growth of new blood vessels.
Inflammation is the body’s normal response to injury or disease, but excessive inflammation can cause tissue damage and inhibit healing. HBOT treats this problem by saturating the plasma, central nervous system fluids, and lymph with oxygen and improving circulation to areas that may be starved of oxygen due to inflammation.
It can also help fight or reverse aging by increasing collagen and restoring blood vessels. HBOT is safe when administered by a trained, licensed provider who follows the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society’s guidelines and safety standards for treatment.
Increased Brain Function
HBOT treatment involves sitting in a hyperbaric chamber that boosts atmospheric pressure to allow your body to absorb more oxygen. Our bodies naturally take in about 21 percent of oxygen through our lungs.
The high oxygen levels in the hyperbaric chamber stimulate your white blood cells to kill potentially dangerous bacteria. It can help treat conditions such as actinomycosis and other chronic bacterial infections.
HBOT also reduces inflammation by boosting your body’s natural production of anti-inflammatory molecules. It promotes the growth of new blood vessels, increasing oxygen supply to deprived tissues. It benefits diabetes, radiation injuries, and wounds that aren’t healing well after surgery. Research has indicated that it can improve cognitive function for individuals who have suffered from traumatic brain injury or PTSD.
A key aspect of HBOT is that it supersaturates the bloodstream with oxygen. The chamber’s high pressure allows oxygen to travel deeper into tissues and organs, delivering essential nutrients, speeding healing, reducing swelling, and encouraging tissue growth.
The increased oxygen supply also helps battle bacteria and other toxins. It boosts white blood cells so they can find and eliminate rogue invaders. HBOT opens circulation, allowing toxins to move more quickly through the liver and kidneys for elimination.
Most patients undergo 20-40 treatments over four- to six weeks. During treatment, you relax inside a clear chamber where the air pressure is about three times higher than average. It may cause ears to feel plugged, similar to how they feel in an airplane or while scuba diving.