The Basics of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
- Hyperbaric Therapy is a safe method of delivering more oxygen to the body at the cellular level.
- Hyperbaric Therapy provides the optimal environment for the body to carry out vital cell processes, thereby increasing the capacity for the body to heal itself.
- The hyperbaric chamber utilizes filtered pressurized ambient air to dissolve oxygen directly into the plasma, cerebral and spinal fluids, flooding tissues and vital organs with oxygen.
- Hyperbaric Therapy allows for healing at the cellular level, which is critical for changes to be made which in turn affect healthy tissue formation, making it possible for healthier organs and ultimately a healthier body overall.
- YES! The hyperbaric chamber uses filtered ambient air, so there is no risk of oxygen toxicity to the body even with regular use.
- The chamber can be depressurized and opened from the inside.
- Once inside the chamber, both visual and verbal communication is possible with the outside, and there is also a buzzer for help.
- Most people report a comfortable, relaxing experience and emerge from the chamber feeling refreshed.
- This therapy is non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, and there are no dangerous side effects
- The mild hyperbaric chamber is filled with compressed ambient air from 2 to 4.5 pounds per square inch. (1.3 ATA max) This is the equivalent of 11 feet below sea level.
- The increased pressure allows the blood plasma and other liquids of the body to absorb additional oxygen thus greatly increasing oxygen uptake by the cells, tissues, glands, organs, brain, and fluids of the body.
- The resulting uptake of oxygen allows for increased circulation to areas with swelling or inflammation. At the same time, the increased pressure decreases swelling and inflammation.
- Oxygen is then utilized by the body for vital cell functions, healthier cells equals healthier tissues, and organs.
- The human body is capable of healing itself when it has what it needs. There is NOTHING the human body needs more than OXYGEN.
- Henry’s Law of Physics:
1. An increase in atmospheric pressure allows for more gas to be dissolved into any given liquid.
2. Oxygen, the 8th element on the Periodic Table, exists as a gas at room temperature.
3. Gas under pressure dissolves in water.
- No dangerous side effects have been reported with Mild Hyperbaric Therapy.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for your first session in a chamber:
- Some people experience a mild discomfort to the ears when pressurizing the chamber, not unlike during the ascending part of an airplane ride.
- Some people following their first few sessions experience slight fatigue as the body sweeps itself clear of toxic debris that has built up in the body. This is safe and necessary.
- It is advisable that you wear comfortable, loose clothing. (Pantyhose and other tight garments may contribute to feelings of claustrophobia.) Bring something to read, as the sessions last about 60 minutes. You may want to bring a favorite cd, dvd player, portable game, etc.
- Do not drink large amounts of fluids before entering the chamber.
- Do not wear perfume or cologne when you are coming for your session.
- The chamber will seem smaller when deflated than it is when fully pressurized. Within one minute the chamber will inflate completely, allowing enough room for an adult to sit upright or lie fully extended. After the chamber inflates, it will begin to pressurize. This is the time when you may experience pressure in your ears. The easiest way to relieve any discomfort this may cause is to equalize your ears using one or more of the following methods:
- Close your mouth and firmly clamp your nose shut with your fingers and thumb. Blow, as if you were blowing your nose, but keep nose and mouth closed. You will feel the air come out through your ears when you have done this procedure correctly, and this should relieve the pressure.
- Yawn. Stretching your mouth as wide as possible, even stretching your tongue out. This will cause the sinus passages surrounding your ears to drain and relieve the pressure.
- If you are the parent of a small child who is having trouble with their ears during pressurization, try massaging the area just below the ears and right behind the jaw. A baby still on the bottle or pacifier should be given either of these, but if your child is likely to spill drinks in the chamber please try to monitor them with liquids.
- Sit upright. Turn your head completely to the right, then completely to the left. Repeat earlier steps until the ears are cleared.
The sessions last around 60 minutes. You may be able to stay in longer, we allow up to an extra hour per session at no extra charge. However, the length of the session depends on the diagnostic condition that one is treating, and should be discussed with a doctor prior to undergoing treatment.
- Listen to music on a portable device.
- Talk on your cell phone.
- Play handheld games.
- Watch movies on portable DVD player.
- Work on laptop computer.
- Read books or magazines
- Take a nap
Yes. You should NOT go into the chamber if you are inebriated (drunk), if you have ear canal problems or an ear infection, or if you are experiencing flu or cold symptoms. Also please do not enter the chamber wearing perfume or cologne. We do have individuals who are sensitive to chemicals that might enter the chamber after you.
Sessions vary in cost according to the package purchased. We will discuss the best option for you when you attend your session.
They’ll need to know if:
- you have any cold or flu symptoms, fever, sinus or nasal congestion, or chest congestion.
- there is a possibility that you may be pregnant.
- there has been a change in any of your medications.
- you have skipped a meal prior to your HBO treatment.
- you are diabetic and did not take your insulin prior to your treatment.
- you have any concerns or anxiety.
Hyperbaric Chamber Experience
While loose-fitting, soft clothing is generally advised, the answer may depend on the ambient temperature. In cooler chamber settings, users may want to bring removable outerwear such as a parka or shawl. A blanket can also provide warmth and comfort. In warmer settings, users will want to dress in lighter, less stifling clothing.
The most common side-effect experienced by patients in a hyperbaric chamber is a tightness in the ears that results from an increase in atmospheric pressure. This build-up of pressure sometimes creates an imbalance in the pressure on either side of the eardrums. If you have ever traveled on a commercial airliner, you will be familiar with this feeling. As such, it is commonly referred to as “airplane ear.” In more professional circles, it is known as barotrauma. There are a number of ways to counteract airplane ear while in a hyperbaric chamber, including the following: yawning, chewing gum, swallowing, and performing the Valsalva maneuver. To perform the Valsalva maneuver, gently pinch your nostrils, close your mouth, and breathe out as if attempting to blow up a balloon. If airplane ear becomes a persistent problem during treatment, this may be an indication of too much mucus in your Eustachian tube — a small channel that helps to regulate the pressure on either side of your eardrum. Taking antihistamine tablets or using antihistamine nasal spray prior to treatment may help to eliminate uncomfortable ear pressure. After a hyperbaric therapy session, it is not unusual to feel tired and hungry. This is the body’s natural reaction and should not limit your ability to carry out normal actions after the treatment.
As the chamber is being pressurized, air presses on your eardrums and pushes them inwards. This will be painful unless you equalize your ears to be able to reach the treatment depth. Please, signal the attendant immediately if you have discomfort in your ears or sinuses. Don’t wait until it really hurts. The operator will stop pressurizing and decrease the pressure until you equalize. When you’re comfortable they will resume pressurizing.
For some patients, it can be. However, there are a number of ways in which this sensation can be addressed. Well-known manufacturers like Summit-to-Sea and Newtowne Hyperbarics strive to create hyperbaric chambers that feel open and breathable by incorporating portal-shaped viewing windows, or using light-permeable material for the outer shell. In addition, some hyperbaric chambers, like Summit-to-Sea’s vertical models, allow patients to remain seated in an upright position to lessen the feeling of being “trapped” in a prone position. Others are large enough to accommodate more than a single patient, allowing friends and family members to participate in the treatment by using the buddy system. Those who simply need to be distracted from the closeness of the chamber should consider bringing a laptop, tablet PC, or smartphone with them so that they can listen to music, watch videos, and engage in social media during treatment.
If you are not comfortable in confined spaces, then you may at first find being in a hyperbaric chamber a little disconcerting. However, you remain in complete control at all times. The chamber is not locked and at any point you can exit the chamber quickly. Make sure you choose a chamber with a large window to give you that comfortable feeling of space.
Side effects from HBOT generally include inner ear tightness, sinus pressure, and potential changes in vision. Pressure on the inner ear, or barotrauma, is a common occurrence with HBOT, due to the increase in atmospheric pressure inside the chamber. As long as pressure is increased slowly, the user can perform simple actions such as yawning or swallowing to relieve discomfort. Vision changes during HBOT are temporary and not uncommon, but should be communicated immediately. Pressure levels in the HBO chamber may need to be adjusted in order to comfortably continue treatment. More severe side effects of HBOT can include oxygen poisoning, but this is considered a serious complication and is very uncommon. As long as treatment is being administered appropriately and sessions are monitored for unusual activity, the chance that users will encounter complications due to oxygen overexposure is unlikely.
What sort of personal items, if any, are permitted within the hyperbaric chamber (e.g., books, laptops, tablets, cell phones)?
Books, laptops, tablet PCs, and smartphones are usually safe to bring into the hyperbaric chamber. Not only do these items help to pass the time in an enjoyable way, but they can also serve as useful distractions for patients who are affected by feelings of claustrophobia. If receiving HBOT in a clinical setting, ask your hyperbaric specialist about the opportunity to bring personal items into the chamber with you during treatment.
The air warms as it pressurizes and cools as it depressurizes. Ventilation keeps the air moving when it is warm and blankets are available if you become cold.
If you have a history of problems with the ear when flying or traveling in the mountains you may wish to use nasal decongestants before the first few treatments. With young children, tilt their head back and put one drop of paediatric (baby) nose drops in each nostril one and a half to two hours before HBOT. Wait 5-10 minutes and then put a second drop in each nostril. Use Afrin or a similar nasal spray 20-30 minutes after the nose drops. Do not repeat the nasal spray.
If you cannot equalize the pressure in your ears with any of the various manoeuvres or nasal decongestants, a physician can insert P.E.T. through your eardrums. This relatively painless, outpatient procedure has few complications and the tubes can remain in place during the course of your treatment. If you have P.E.T. inserted, you must not get water in your ears. Use earplugs or apply a little water-based gel (rather than petroleum jelly), to a small cotton ball and place it in your outer ear canal before washing or bathing.
Purchase & Use
A hyperbaric chamber is a controlled environment in which a person can be supplied with pure oxygen. The chamber is tested for use with great pressures, at which the beneficial effects on the body take place.
Anyone can buy a chamber: for your own use or a new business. Many people decide to buy a chamber, for example, for their fitness, spa, hotel … We accept orders AtlantahyperbaricCenter.com
There are various chambers on the market from Korean, Chinese etc. manufacturers, but they mostly reach the pressure of 1.3 or 1,5 ATA. Research has shown that healing effects show at the pressure of 1.6 ATA. The AHA Flex hyperbaric chamber reaches the pressure of 2.0 ATA and we can say with certainty that it is the highest quality inflatable portable chamber. Also it is a medical device class IIb, according to Medical Device Directive, 93/42/EEC.
You can buy accessories at the AHA Hyperbarics. Here, a number of accessories and spare parts are available for your hyperbaric system: clothing: shirts, pants, slippers, blankets, sheets and cloths, pillows and pillow cases, wet wipes for cleaning and care, cleaning fluids, NRB (non-rebreather) masks, stainless steel handrail.
The cleaning solutions for the chamber are suitable for the environment which contains more oxygen than our atmosphere (more than 21 %), so not every cleaning liquid is appropriate. At our center you can buy a special cleaning solution that has been tested for use in such environments.
For various applications, oxygen is available in various forms, also in a tank. A part of the hyperbaric system are also two oxygen concentrators which produce oxygen from the air, so you do not need oxygen tanks.
In the case of a dive in the chamber you need to gradually equalize the pressure in your ears. If you do not have problems with equalizing pressure, you can attend the therapy despite the cold. You can check that by pinching your nose and blowing out slightly – if your ears “pop”, you have no problems equalizing.
Yes, if you are using soft contacts. With rigid lenses we advise you to remove them before the therapy.
Our experiences have shown it can, so we advise smokers not to smoke for at least two hours before entering the chamber and for at least two hours after the therapy. Smoke and other odours on your clothes are accentuated within the confines of the pressurized chamber. Do not use strong scented perfumes or deodorants.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT is extremely safe with minimal risks.
The chamber is pressurized with filtered outdoor air and is ventilated continuously.
Try to swallow; yawn or drink sips of water. Turn your head to one side and swallow, then turn to the other side and swallow. Repeat if necessary. The Valsalva Manoeuvre – Pinch your nose closed, close your mouth and lift the front-tip of your tongue towards the roof of your mouth. Attempt to blow through your pinched nose (short and sharp) but not too forcefully. This directs air from your throat into your ears and sinus air spaces. A third method combines these techniques: try swallowing and wiggling your jaw while blowing gently against your pinched nose. Now that’s coordination!
Essentially yes. Domestic chambers are portable and can be erected wherever it’s most convenient. It should be noted though that your chamber should not be located anywhere where solvents or other dangerous chemicals are stored, or in the vicinity of a furnace or boiler. Remember that the quality of the air inside the chamber is the product of the air on the outside.
Generally, there is no coverage if you are using HBOT for an off-label condition. However, if you do have one of the 14 conditions given treatment approval from the FDA( See Health Uses Section) , then there is a good chance of insurance reimbursement.
In a clinical setting, HBOT is administered by a licensed technician or nurse, by prescription only. Users who purchase in-home mHBOT chambers assume responsibility for individual operation and personal usage.
Because hyperbaric chambers are considered a Class II medical device, a prescription must be obtained before an individual may purchase a hyperbaric unit for personal use.
HBOT is FDA-approved for the following uses: air or gas embolism, carbon monoxide poisoning, enhancement of healing in diabetically derived illness, exceptional blood loss (anemia), intracranial abscess, clostridial myositis and myonecrosis (gangrene), crush injury, compartment syndrome, decompression sickness, necrotizing soft tissue infections, osteomyelitis (refractory), delayed radiation injury, skin grafts and flaps, thermal burns, actinomycosis, cyanide poisoning, and delayed radiation injury. HBOT is not FDA-approved for treatment of conditions like autism, multiple sclerosis, spinal injury, depression, Alzheimer's or stroke. However, the absence of an FDA-endorsement does not mean HBOT cannot produce a beneficial outcome for individuals living with these conditions. HBOT should not be considered a complete treatment plan without a medical prescription and consultation, but the addition of hyperbaric therapy in treatment of non-FDA approved conditions has advanced physical progress in thousands of individuals.
Yes. It is often very common for prescription drugs to be prescribed for uses other than what the FDA has approved. This is the definition of off-label. To find out which off-label conditions can be treated with HBOT, consult your doctor.
Atmospheres absolute (ATA) is a standard way to measure the amount of air pressure in a hyperbaric chamber. The common starting point is 1.0 ATA, which is the weight of the earth’s total atmosphere we experience while standing at sea level. If we were to dive into 33 feet of seawater, the sum of both the water and atmosphere’s weight would equal 2.0 ATA. At 66 feet it would be 3.0 ATA, and so on. In a hyperbaric chamber, this phenomenon is replicated through the combination of an airtight container and a continuous inflow of pressurized air.
There are a number of characteristics that distinguish HBOT and mHBOT, including chamber design, functionality, and price. Traditional hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) often occurs within a steel enclosure and is usually administered by a physician in a hospital or other healthcare institution. These hardshell chambers can sustain pressures exceeding 2.0 ATA and often use 100% oxygen. Due to their size and weight, traditional HBOT chambers are stationary and significantly more expensive than their mHBOT counterparts. Individuals who choose HBOT generally travel to a site for treatment and pay a fee for scheduled sessions. Mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy (mHBOT) occurs within an inflatable chamber that is sealed with zippers and sometimes reinforced with straps. The pressure in most mHBOT softshell chambers ranges somewhere between 1.3 and 1.5 ATA. Pure oxygen can be supplied through an oxygen concentrator, but mHBOT just as often relies on ambient air (80% nitrogen, 20% oxygen). Finally, mHBOT chambers are designed to appeal to individual users as well as smaller clinics. As a result, they are significantly less expensive than HBOT chambers and, because they are deflatable, they can be packaged, stored, and transported without being overly burdensome.
ATA stands for ‘atmospheres absolute’, and is a term used to measure the pressure of the air surrounding us at any given time. When an individual is at sea level, the air is at 1.0 atmosphere absolute - about 14.7 pounds of pressure per square inch. While in a HBOT chamber, the ATA is increased multiple levels, allowing rapid oxygen absorption into the bloodstream and increased distribution of oxygen to all areas of the body. The rate of oxygen absorption doubles with every increase in atmosphere absolute, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that higher is better. At 2.0 ATA, the oxygen saturates any remaining oxygen-deficiency in the hemoglobin, and is then sent to nourish plasma all around the body. Every ATA increase from that point on exponentially increases the amount of oxygen forced into the bloodstream, but must be monitored and permitted for a finite period. Oxygen toxicity, which occurs when an excess amount of oxygen becomes trapped in the body’s tissues due to overexposure or inappropriate ATA, can result in damage to the central nervous system and go so far as to induce seizures. Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chambers (mHBOT for short) can be pressurized between 1.3 - 1.7 ATA, while hospital-grade multi-place chambers go as high as 6.0 ATA.
Hyperbaric is a compound word made from the Greek words hyper, meaning “above” or “beyond,” and barys, meaning “heavy.” In the healthcare world, hyperbaric therapy refers to a type of treatment that applies greater than normal atmospheric pressure on a patient’s body in order to encourage that person’s blood plasma to absorb more oxygen. This, in turn, helps to repair injuries and even treat certain chronic adverse conditions.
Bolsters are sturdy platforms that prevent hyperbaric chambers from rolling or moving during the course of treatment. Available in wood, foam or as inflatables, bolsters run alongside the chamber to guarantee steadiness and full chamber support.
An air compressor is a device powered by a motor taking in ambient air and converting it into pressurized air. Air compressors are indispensable components of the hyperbaric chamber system, as they maintain the internal air pressure that is essential for providing patients with continuous pressurized oxygen treatment. Different hyperbaric chamber manufacturers tend to produce air compressors designed specifically for their products. OxyHealth, for example, sells its chambers with an oil-less air compressor that focuses on a robust filtration system, while Summit-to-Sea’s air compressors feature patented sound suppression and are sold in pairs as part of the company’s redundancy protocol (i.e., if one compressor fails, the other remains active while the chamber safely deflates).
An oxygen concentrator is an electronic device that takes in ambient air, filters out the nitrogen molecules, and delivers purified oxygen through a mask or nasal cannula.
The word hyperoxia refers to an excess of oxygen in the body’s tissues (e.g., muscle) and organs (e.g., the heart, skin, and brain). It is the result of a prolonged oxygen exposure and occurs when the body is unable to expel unnecessary buildup.
Due to oxygen’s increased flammability, hyperbaric chambers should always be kept in an environment free of open flame. While the chances of the chamber combusting are extremely low, an electrical spark or exposure to fire could cause fire to begin in the HBOT chamber space. Users can prevent this by following proper operational instructions and using a hyperbaric chamber in a flame-free environment.
Can a hyperbaric chamber be over-pressurized, mechanically speaking, or are the devices designed to prevent this from happening?
Because Hyperbaric chambers are designed to support a certain amount of atmospheric pressure, it is not possible for chambers to exceed designed capacity - even if they wanted to. Most soft-shell models support up to 1.3 ATA, with clinic-grade chambers capable of supporting up to 6 ATA. In addition, Hyperbaric chambers are designed and rigorously tested to ensure that combustion due to over-pressurization is prevented at all costs. HBO chambers are continually being assessed and improved, most frequently in the device’s initial stage of assembly. To date, there is no recorded history of any user experiencing chamber combustion due to over-pressurization.
Product Accessories and Variations
Summit To Sea & Newtowne Hyperbaics
The biggest difference between steel chamber hyperbaric therapy devices and inflatable ones is the atmospheric pressure and quality of oxygen being administered. In hard chambers, pressure is set between 2.4 - 3.0 ATA, three times the pressure of ambient air. This increase in pressure allows oxygen to enter the bloodstream at 1,824 mmHg (normal air pressure is 157mmHg). In most soft chambers, pressure only reaches 1.3 ATA. Bacteria is hindered from growing at a minimum of 1.5 ATA. In addition, the lower pressure results in a much milder absorption of oxygen. Compared to the 1,824 mmHg absorbtion of hard chambers, the arterial oxygen of a soft chamber at 1.3 ATA is 230 mmHg (again, normal air pressure is 157mmHg).
Prices between HBOT chambers differ for a variety of reasons: brand, model, capacity for height and weight, the amount of absolute atmosphere supported (ATA), features, and details of assembly. Much like the process of purchasing a car, the decision to purchase a HBOT chamber is one made by considering the needs and preferences of the user. Not all HBOT chambers are created equal, and taking the time to understand the distinguishing features between similar models will help the customer decide which brand and model will best meet their needs.
Yes! The FDA has approved HBOT for at-home and clinical use, and classifies hyperbaric oxygen chambers as Class II medical devices. With a prescription from your doctor, you can compare and purchase your own HBOT chamber at Atlanta Hyperbaric Center.com
Yes! A prescription is not required to purchase oxygen tanks or an oxygen concentrator. However, healthcare law instructs in most states, that a patient or "oxygen user" only inhale oxygen with a current prescription from a prescribing physician. The oxygen prescription should specifically instruct on LPM (liters per minute) flow rate. Normally, oxygen flow is delivered to a patient via nasal cannula or an oxygen mask.
What factors should I consider when trying to decide between purchasing a hyperbaric chamber for myself and paying for sessions at a professional clinic?
The decision between home treatment and treatment in a professional setting has much to do with treatment intent. If you are undergoing HBOT in a medical facility for an FDA-approved purpose, you will have the option to receive reimbursement from your insurance provider. If you desire to utilize HBOT for a non-FDA approved reason, you may be required to pay out of pocket for treatment. Another factor users consider when choosing between receiving HBOT in a clinical environment versus in-home is frequency of use. The investment benefit in a personal hyperbaric chamber, if utilized frequently, will overtake the cost and time spent in a medical facility. Some families and individuals find that the addition of a hyperbaric chamber to their homes allows them greater comfort and satisfaction, knowing they are free to participate in a HBO session at their own discretion.
Yes. They break down into two types. Multi Place Hyperbaric Chambers are larger hard shelled units suitable for treating more than one person at a time. These are usually permanently installed in medical or similar facilities. Mono Place Hyperbaric Chambers are, as the name suggests, intended for treating one person at a time. These may be permanently installed but also include soft shelled portable chambers. Within the Mono Place chamber category there are a wide range of models offering different specifications and dimensions, designed to suit patients’ and customers’ specific needs and size. Your hyperbaric chamber supplier will be able to help you choose the right chamber for you.
Science Behind the Hyperbaric Chamber
By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1% water vapor at sea level, and 0.4% over the entire atmosphere.
While undergoing mHBOT, how much more oxygen is present in the hyperbaric chamber than is present in ambient air?
A body at rest typically consumes about 6 ml of oxygen per 100 ml of blood. Of this amount, only 0.3 ml is transported by the hemoglobin in the red blood cells. When pressure inside a hyperbaric chamber is raised to 2 ATA of pure oxygen, the plasma oxygen is raised to 4.4 ml.
No, there are no age limits. Children can safely undergo hyperbaric therapy. There is no age restriction but we do recommend that an experienced chamber operator provide the services for those that are very young or very old.
The length of the session depends on the diagnostic condition that one is treating, and should be discussed with a doctor prior to undergoing treatment.
In 2010, 20,000 Medicare beneficiaries received hyperbaric oxygen treatments for causes approved by the FDA. The number of people treated with HBOT under FDA approval has increased 24 percent since 2008, and continues to be on the rise. With the increase of celebrity endorsement (Michael Jackson slept in one, Tim Tebow travels with a personal HBO chamber), public interest has peaked over the past several years. With a nationwide increase in pursuit of natural remedies, HBOT stands out as a desirable choice due to its non-invasive process and organic promotion of physical healing. Results obtained from HBOT have also been shown to last far beyond the time spent undergoing treatment. Because HBOT provides a favourable environment for the body to self-regenerate, sustainable healing of tissues and organs is experienced while undergoing treatment and the physical results can be maintained long after the patient has exited the chamber.
HBOT therapy works by providing the user with a favourable environment to promote the organic regeneration of cells. Results occurring within the HBOT chamber are capable of being maintained after the completion of the treatment due to the body’s ability to sustain regeneration, although one session is typically not enough to create lasting change. Sessions for those suffering decompression sickness may be fewer than a person undergoing treatment for the regeneration and healing of a slow-healing wound. Every treatment plan is different, just as every human body is different. To get the greatest benefit from HBOT sessions, seek the advice of a medical professional and pursue a treatment plan tailored to meet your specific needs.
Masks are typically worn in hard HBOT chambers to increase the patient’s immediate exposure to a stream of pure oxygen. Hoods also provide a direct stream of oxygen, but encompass the entirety of the user’s head, and the majority are utilized as a standalone procedure, outside the chamber environment.
Any time an individual pursues a new medical treatment procedure, especially in conjunction with a pre-existing treatment plan, it is important to speak with a doctor regarding the new treatment potentially counteracting medical prescriptions. The compatibility of HBOT with an individual's pre-existing medical regimen heavily depends on the user/patient’s specific medical background, and should be taken into account before introducing HBOT as a treatment option. Prescription medications are administered using a variety of discerning factors, including height, weight, body mass, and cardiac output. Every additional outside influence (in this case, HBOT) has the opportunity to impact and alter an individual’s state of being, and can result in a modified physical response. For example, HBOT users with a history of diabetes should take into account the effect that increased oxygen will have on their blood glucose levels. An adjustment in insulin may be required for the duration of treatment, and should be reviewed and monitored by a medical professional.
The only ‘treatable’ conditions that have been approved by the FDA are the 14 that are listed below:
If HBOT is used for any other medical condition, then it is considered to be an ‘off-label’ treatment and must be prescribed by a doctor
- Decompression Sickness
- Gas embolism
- CO and Cyanide poisoning
- Gas Gangrene
- Selected aerobic and anaerobic soft tissue infections,
- Intracranial abscess
- Management of Fungal disease
- Radiation injury to tissue
- Exceptional blood loss/anemia
- Crush injury/kcompartment syndrome
- Ischemia reperfusion injuries
- Skin grafts and flaps
- Healing in selected problem wounds
- Treatment of thermal burns
If HBOT is used for any other medical condition, then it is considered to be an ‘off-label’ treatment and must be prescribed by a doctor
The only ‘treatable’ condition that has been approved by the FDA is for Altitude Sickness (or Acute Mountain Sickness). All other medical uses must also be prescribed by a doctor, and similarly are categorized as off-label conditions.
When cells in the brain die, either from trauma or lack of oxygen, blood plasma leaks out into surrounding brain tissue causing swelling and reducing blood flow. These otherwise normal cells go dormant because they can’t function without the appropriate amount of oxygen. HBOT dramatically increases the oxygen carried in the blood plasma, making oxygen available to heal damaged capillary walls, preventing plasma leakage and reducing swelling. As the swelling decreases, blood flow can be restored to the dormant tissue (neovascularization) and these cells then have the potential to function again.
In CP and TBI patients, some of the injured brain tissues may be “dormant” and non-functioning. HBOT can stimulate these “dormant” tissues and return them to more normal function. In young children, cognitive function and spasticity can be improved. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, used in conjunction with other therapies, ensures the best recovery possible for children with cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.
No. While hyperbaric therapy is shown to have a positive effect in the body’s fight against a number of clinical conditions, they are just as useful to those looking to improve their overall health and wellbeing. Oxygen is at the heart of the body’s systems for recovery, energizing and rejuvenation, and the hyperbaric chamber’s ability to safely deliver concentrated levels of oxygen to the body is the key to enhancing all these attributes. Similarly, hyperbaric chambers are perfectly safe and suitable for all ages. Every member of your family can enjoy the benefits!
Any time an individual pursues a new medical treatment procedure, especially in conjunction with a pre-existing treatment plan, it is important to speak with a doctor regarding the new treatment potentially counteracting medical prescriptions. The compatibility of HBOT with an individual’s pre-existing medical regimen heavily depends on the user/patient’s specific medical background, and should be taken into account before introducing HBOT as a treatment option.
It is not recommended to sleep inside of a hyperbaric chamber, even if it is a low pressure chamber. Though there are people who have reported sleeping inside the chamber and promoting its benefits, we have many safety concerns for this type of practice and it is only a matter of time before a serious incident could occur. To ensure the highest level of safety, HBOT is generally not recommended for more than 60 to 90 minutes per session.
Oxygen-induced seizures are very rare (1/10,000) and are typically seen at higher pressures. It should be noted that this is not epilepsy and will not cause further seizure activity, but instead is a one-time single episode that is treated by discontinuing the oxygen session. Most of these seizures have been shown to be related to low blood sugars or an elevation in body temperature. Experienced chamber operators should be able to minimize the potential risks of seizure. In saying that, many individuals with epilepsy, particularly children, have successfully used hyperbaric oxygen therapy to reduce seizure activity. This has been demonstrated both clinically and also in research studies.
Just like any medication or procedure, yes and this is known as “oxygen toxicity”, (which can effect the central nervous system and/or the lungs). The main 2 variables leading to oxygen toxicity are ‘pressure’ and ‘time’. If the pressure is kept below 2.0 ATA and the time is kept to 60 min, then the risk of oxygen toxicity is extremely low. A skilled hyperbaric therapist should be able to limit this risk if dosages are used above 2.0 ATA and for longer than 60 minutes.
The larger soft portable chambers that are 32” diameter when inflated can fit up to 2 people at one time.
Inside the Chamber
Most hyperbaric therapy sessions are for one hour, and most people feel sleepy as the body absorbs the extra Oxygen kick starting the healing process, so close your eyes and take advantage of some R & R. In the soft chambers electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and mp3 may be used with no impact on its operation … so there’s no need to feel bored or cut off from the outside world!
Usually the person inside the chamber feels warm as it is being pressurized, comfortable, when it is under pressure and feels a bit cold when the pressure begins to drop. Before the therapy the operator can give you blankets made of pure cotton, so you do not get cold. Most good quality hyperbaric chambers are fitted with air cooling systems which can be adjusted to ensure that the atmosphere inside remains comfortable throughout your therapy session. It is recommended to have the chamber in a well ventilated or air conditioned room.
Different levels of pressure can be used, depending on the need of the individual. However, typically the pressure is around three times normal air pressure at sea level – that’s roughly the equivalent of swimming 11 feet underwater (1.3 ATA Absolute Atmospheres).
Generally speaking, you’ll experience a sense of ‘fullness’ in your ears, similar to when an airplane takes off or lands. This can usually be relieved by wiggling the jaw, yawning or swallowing to help equalize the internal and external pressure. After a hyperbaric therapy session, it is not unusual to feel tired and hungry. This is the body’s natural reaction and should not limit your ability to carry out normal actions after the therapy.
Specifics of Treatments
In 2010, 20,000 Medicare beneficiaries received hyperbaric oxygen treatments for causes approved by the FDA. The number of people treated with HBOT under FDA approval has increased 24 percent since 2008, and continues to be on the rise. With the increase of celebrity endorsements, public interest has peaked over recent years. With a nationwide increase in pursuit of natural remedies, HBOT stands out as a desirable choice due to its non-invasive process and organic promotion of physical healing. Results obtained from HBOT have also been shown to last far beyond the time spent undergoing treatment. Because HBOT provides a favourable environment for the body to self-regenerate, sustainable healing of tissues and organs is experienced while undergoing treatment and the physical results can be maintained long after the patient has exited the chamber.
Hyperbaric therapy serves by supporting the body’s own innate healing system by providing it with the effect of extra oxygen to produce extra energy for organic regeneration of cells. Results occurring within the hyperbaric chamber are capable of being maintained after the completion of the treatment due to the body’s ability to sustain function, repair and regeneration, although one session is typically not enough to create lasting change.
Two treatments a day, with a 4-hour interval between the start of each session, is the norm. The leading proponents of HBOT recommend a minimum of 20 treatments and preferably up to 40 in the initial schedule. After forty treatments, re-evaluate your condition for discernible benefits before proceeding. The schedule you are assigned is your reservation.
It is worth mentioning that there are two methods of delivering hyperbaric therapy. The hard shelled method pressurizes the chamber with 100% medical grade Oxygen, and these types of chambers are typically only used in professional medical settings such as hospitals where all appropriate safety measures can be taken. The other one, called the soft shelled method, results in the chamber being pressurized with ambient air with concentrated oxygen delivered through a mask or cannula. This ensures that there is absolutely no risk.
Different levels of pressure can be used, depending on the need of the individual. However, typically the pressure is around three times normal air pressure at sea level – that’s roughly the equivalent of swimming 11 feet underwater (1.3 ATA Absolute Atmospheres).