Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: What You Should Know

A few years hyperbaric oxygen therapy was almost unknown in many parts of the globe. These days, this procedure is getting increasingly popular because it has many advantages. Below are some things you should know about hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

How it Works

When you undergo hyperbaric therapy, the medical expert handling your case gives you pure oxygen under a highly supervised hospital environment. During this procedure, the air pressure is increased two or three times higher than the normal pressure. This enables your lungs take in more of the pure oxygen than it would under normal conditions. The result is that the increased amounts of oxygen are carried to different parts of your body and this promotes rapid healing of different ailments and medical conditions.

Why Your Body Needs Oxygen

Even under normal conditions (when you are strong and healthy), your body needs a regular supply of oxygen to enable you carry out your daily functions. You also need oxygen to continue to enjoy good health. When you are sick or injured, you need much more oxygen than you would if you were not injured or sick. The purpose of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is to ensure your body gets extra oxygen. This helps your body fight pathogens. In addition, the presence of oxygen in your cells releases stem cells and growth factors and these substances help promote the healing process.

Conditions treated with hyperbaric Therapy

A number of medical conditions are usually treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy near you. These conditions include brain abscess, severe anemia, burns, arterial gas embolism and carbon monoxide poisoning. This procedure also treats deafness, crushing injury, gangrene and infections that lead to death of tissue death. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also an excellent solution in cases where patients are battling with brain injury, vision loss and non-healing wounds like foot ulcer in diabetes patients.

Preparing for the Procedure

This procedure is usually an out-patient procedure and it takes a maximum period of two hours for each session. On the appointed day, the patient is examined by the medical expert and if all the conditions are right, the procedure begins. The patient wears the gown approved by the hospital and is led into the hyperbaric chamber.

Risks and Side Effects

This procedure is generally safe and well-tolerated by most patients. However, some of the risk factors include the ones below:

  • Temporary nearsightedness
  • Middle ear injuries
  • Oxygen toxicity may lead to seizures
  • Lung collapse

These side effects are usually very rare but the medical expert will point them out to prepare the patient in case the unexpected happens. In cases where the procedure leads to complications, the patient will be admitted and placed on observation. After stabilizing the patient and taking care of the complication, the patient is discharged.

Final Word

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an excellent way to treat complicated medical conditions. As long as it is done under the supervision of qualified medical personnel, there will be no problems at the end of the day.


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