Hyperbaric oxygen therapy includes breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. Hyperbaric oxygen remedy is a well-established remedy for decompression sickness, a possible risk of scuba diving. Other conditions handled with hyperbaric oxygen remedy embody critical infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that may not heal because of diabetes or radiation injury.

In a hyperbaric oxygen remedy chamber, the air pressure is elevated two to a few instances higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can collect much more oxygen than can be attainable breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.

When your blood carries this further oxygen all through your body, this helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of drugs called progress factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Why it’s executed

Your body’s tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen remedy increases the quantity of oxygen your blood can carry. With repeated scheduled therapies, the non permanent further high oxygen levels encourage normal tissue oxygen levels, even after the therapy is completed.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to deal with a number of medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in different ways. Your doctor may suggest hyperbaric oxygen remedy if you have one of many following conditions:

Severe anemia

Brain abscess

Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)


Carbon monoxide poisoning

Crushing injury

Deafness, sudden

Decompression sickness


An infection of skin or bone that causes tissue demise

Nonhealing wounds, reminiscent of a diabetic foot ulcer

Radiation injury

Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue demise

Traumatic brain injury

Vision loss, sudden and painless


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is usually a safe procedure. Problems are rare. But this remedy does carry some risk.

Potential risks embrace:

Middle ear injuries, together with leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, resulting from changes in air pressure

Temporary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by non permanent eye lens changes

Lung collapse caused by air pressure changes (barotrauma)

Seizures on account of too much oxygen (oxygen poisonousity) in your central nervous system

Lowered blood sugar in individuals who have diabetes treated with insulin

In sure circumstances, fire — because of the oxygen-rich surroundings of the treatment chamber

How you prepare

You will be provided with a hospital-approved gown or scrubs to wear in place of common clothing throughout the procedure.

For your safety, items similar to lighters or battery-powered gadgets that generate heat usually are not allowed into the hyperbaric chamber. In addition, chances are you’ll have to remove hair and skin care products which are petroleum based mostly, as they’re a possible fire hazard. Your health care group will provide instruction on getting ready you to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

During hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure but may also be provided while you might be hospitalized.

Normally, there are two types of hyperbaric oxygen chambers:

A unit designed for 1 person. In a person (monoplace) unit, you lie down on a table that slides into a clear plastic chamber.

A room designed to accommodate a number of people. In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which usually looks like a large hospital room — you may sit or lie down. You could obtain oxygen by means of a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood positioned over your head.

Whether you are in an individual or multiperson atmosphere for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the benefits are the same.

Throughout remedy, the air pressure within the room is about to 3 instances the traditional air pressure. The elevated air pressure will create a short lived feeling of fullness in your ears — much like what you may feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

For many conditions, hyperbaric oxygen remedy lasts approximately hours. Members of your health care staff will monitotherwise you and the remedy unit all through your treatment.

After hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Your therapy crew assesses you including looking in your ears and taking your blood pressure and pulse. If in case you have diabetes, your blood glucose is checked. Once the team decides you might be ready, you may get dressed and leave.

It’s possible you’ll really feel considerably tired or hungry following your treatment. This doesn’t limit normal activities.


To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen remedy, you’ll likely need more than one session. The number of classes relies upon your medical condition. Some conditions, reminiscent of carbon monoxide poisoning, could be handled in three visits. Others, reminiscent of nonhealing wounds, might require forty therapies or more.

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