What is Oxygen Therapy?
Oxygen Therapy is a medical process whereby extra oxygen is supplied and administered. Oxygen is an essential gas which our body needs to perform well, and it is freely available in the air we breathe in.
Where the oxygen level fall low, an oxygen therapy becomes inevitable. There are however special cases where the need for extra oxygen is necessary even though the individual has the perfect amount of oxygen in his blood. Such special situation is mostly when a person is exposed to high altitude like when climbing on the mountain or when you are in an airplane. In such cases, some person might need extra oxygen.
How you know that you need oxygen therapy?
The sad fact remains that most people today are too busy with working, family, and social activities while putting themselves last, neglecting their health. Most of us do not know when we need extra oxygen, until our health breaks down reaches a critical level. This is the more reason why everyone should occasionally approach their doctor to check their level of oxygen. The test is done by either a blood sample or with the aid of an Oximeter or PulseOx. The blood sample is taken from your artery for an Arterial blood gas (ABG) measurement, here your Oxygen level is measured directly from your blood.
Using a pulse Oximetry test is much easier, because it does not involve any needle and can also measure your oxygen level during your sleep or just put it on your finger for a few seconds. You will get a reading of your blood oxygen levels and pulse. However, the result from an ABG test is more accurate than that of the Oximeter or PulseOx.
How Oxygen therapy is administered
- During the therapy, the oxygen is supplied through a skinny or wide bore tube and delivered straight to the lungs in any of these ways;
- Either through a nasal cannula, which consist of a skinny 25ft to 50 Ft sections of skinny tube, two small plastics tubes, prongs, that are then placed in both nostrils. The other end of the tube is attached to an oxygen system. The nasal cannula has the ability to deliver high amounts of oxygen.
- Oxygen can also be delivered through the use of a face mask, which fit over your nose and mouth and hang securely to the back of your head.
- Lastly is using the mild Hyperbaric Chamber Oxygen Therapy.
Mild HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY: Also known as mHBOT involve the breathing of air or oxygen while kept in a special, clear chamber, or vinyl tube, with an increased atmospheric pressure between 1.3 and 2.0 ATA. The use of this method became popular.
An Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) session normally involves the following procedure:
I. Putting on a cotton medical gown.
- Sitting or lying in a sealed chamber, either alone or with other people, in which case the chamber will be a large chamber.
III. Receiving concentrated air or oxygen, which may arrive through a mask or a hood.
- Patient are allowed to listen to music or watch TV to help them relax.
- With mild hyperbaric chamber it is more of a relaxing atmosphere. The pressure is not as intense.
Therapy Time Frame:
The length of the session will depend on the reason for the treatment. A session may last 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Applicable Method in HBOT
Depending on the type of medical institution and the reason for treatment, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be administered in any of the three setting:
- MonoPlace Chamber: A unit designed for 1 person: In an individual (Monoplace) unit, you lie down on a table that slides into a clear plastic tube.
- Multi Person Chamber: A room designed to accommodate several people: In a multi-person hyperbaric oxygen room — which usually looks like a large hospital room — you may sit or lie down. You may receive oxygen through a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.
- A mild Portable Chamber: Mild Hyperbaric chambers go to 1.3 ATA and are approve to use in home care and require a prescription to purchase.
- Even though they all share the same name. Not all do the same thing and the same time due to the pressure difference and oxygen administered.
Only with medical grade, high pressure chambers, Some notable diseases and infection hyperbaric therapy is approved for:
- Severe Anemia,
- Brain Abscess
- Bubbles of air in Blood Vessels (Arterial Gas Embolism)
- Decompression Sickness (common in deep sea divers)
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Crushing Injury
- Sudden Deafness, and many more.
Mild hyperbaric chambers are only
recommended for low oxygen levels.
Side effects and risk of hyperbaric:
- Temporary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by temporary eye lens changes.
- Middle ear injury and ear drum rupture due to increase air pressure.
- Lung collapse caused by air pressure changes
- Seizures as a result of too much oxygen
- Worsening of symptoms
If you are looking for a mild hyperbaric chamber for your home or office feel free to give us a call at Atlanta Hyperbaric Center. My staff and I will do our best to help you understand hyperbaric as well as help you choose the best mild hyperbaric chamber for your needs. If you know someone that could benefit from this article please press the share button. For immediate assistance call 770-948-4511.
Thank you for reading my blog!
Yours in health,
Dr. Louis Hilliard