Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a form of oxygen treatment whereby a person breathes 100% oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure, typically 2-3 atmospheres Absolute in mono or multi chambers. It is provided in various clinical settings by operators with different levels of expertise. HBOT is one of the safest oxygen therapy used today, as it has proven beneficial in treating different ailments.
How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Works?
HBOT was first seen in the US in the early 20th century and was later used to treat deep-sea divers that develop decompression sickness. Currently, this therapy I used to treat different conditions ranging from severe burns to carbon monoxide poisoning.
There are two types of chambers available in the market today. They include;
- Multiplace chambers
- Monoplace chambers
A Multiplace hyperbaric chamber looks more like a room that can accommodate up to 10 users, while the Monoplace chambers, which are best known as tubes are smaller than the Multiplace and meant for just one person to lay flat to receive the therapy. At OXYHELP INDUSTRY, we provide both the Monoplace and the Multiplace hyperbaric chambers at affordable prices for use at home, wellness centers, and even the spa.
As the user steps into the chamber, it is then pressurized with atmospheric oxygen. Once the chamber is pressurized, a hood is placed on the user’s face, supplying them 100% oxygen at high pressure. Users are expected to put on the hood for at least 30 minutes and then remove it for 10 minutes. The cycle may occur thrice before the daily treatment is said to be complete based on certain factors and your condition.
Before Going in For HBOT
Before stepping into a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, there are certain facts and precautions that you need to know. They include;
· Some medications shouldn’t be taken weeks before treatment.
Oxygen may sometimes damage or inhibit the effects of some medications in the body. While going in for HBOT, a wide variety of medications cannot and shouldn’t be taken with this therapy. Medications like chemotherapies, ointments for healing wounds, and also any medication that limits the level of alcohol consumption in users with a wide history of alcohol abuse.
However, ensure you speak to your health care provider to know your drug history before receiving therapy.
· Don’t come sick for the therapy.
Though HBOT is used in treating various conditions, your treatment may be delayed if you’ve got certain diseases or issues; Illnesses like cold, fever, high blood pressure, frequent loose stools, or other flu-like symptoms. If you’ve got a cold, going in for HBOT could affect your ability to clear your ears which could cause an inner ear injury.
Those with a history of tinnitus, pressure intolerance, middle ear infections, or ear surgery should avoid HBOT as they may be at a higher risk of ear damage.
· Hyperbaric oxygen therapy isn’t carried out for a day
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions certainly lasts over a few hours and is always scheduled once a day, for five days in a week. Depending on your condition, your healthcare provider may even recommend 30 treatments or more before the therapy is completed. The frequency of treatments often depends on your condition and how quickly an improvement is noticed.
· Always eat before going in
It would be best if you always ate a snack or meal within an hour before going for therapy. This help in providing lots of protein to the body to aid in healing injuries and raising your blood sugar high enough for the treatment. Hyperbaric oxygen utilizes most of the fuel in your bloodstream to carry out the healing process when you’re carrying out the therapy.
What are the Possible Side Effects and Complications of HBOT?
Though HBOT might look so great, just like other medical procedures, it also has some risks and complications. These side effects are, however, related to the nature of the treatment. Possible side effects of HBOT include pain and harmful effects on the;
Some persons may also experience;
- Increase in blood pressure
- Claustrophobia (fear of begin confined in small spaces)
- Collapsed lungs
- Pulmonary edema
- Changes in vision
In some cases, oxygen poisoning or toxicity can occur. A high level of oxygen in the body tissues may also lead to convulsions and other complications.
Complications of HBOT
Ranging from sinus squeeze to ear barotrauma, HBOT carries with it the risks of complications that can be life-threatening, but in rare cases only or may result in a long-term disability. Notable complications of HBOT include;
Pulmonary Barotrauma refers to severe damage to the lung tissues due to a change in pressure. This leads to air leaking from the lungs into the chest cavity, causing a dropped lung or pneumothorax.
When oxygen at high pressure is inhaled, the air-filled pockets expand. If the pressure isn’t relieved by the airways in the lungs on time, the pocket might rupture. After its rupture, the air is released, causing excess pressure in the chest cavity, leading to decreased blood pressure and issues breathing. When left untreated, this can cause death.
Sinuses are air-filled spaces in the skull. An inability to balance the pressure of the external environment and pressure in the sinuses leads to bleeding into the sinuses and also causes severe pain.
Other complications of HBOT include;
- Tooth squeeze
- Round or oval window rupture
- Oxygen toxicity seizures
- Decompression sickness
Barotrauma Of The Ear
The term “barotrauma” refers to an injury resulting from a rapid increase in pressure. Barotrauma of the ear is, however, the most notable complication of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, whereby the ear drum bows inward due to imbalance of air pressure between the middle ear and external pressure. This leads to pain and possible eardrum rupture, leading to total hearing loss.