Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (or HBOT) has been around for a little more than three centuries but it is still strange for most people. According to the Divers Alert Network, there are 1200 HBOT Centers in the United States. Two of these deal with diving-related problems while the rest handle a wide range of issues. Essentially, this is a natural healing method that has registered massive success in the world of medicine. If you are considering going down this road, you might want to arm yourself with the right information. As a quick guide, here are four things you didn’t know about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (look here for more info too!).
1. It Doesn’t Involve Scuba Diving
Because hyperbaric oxygen therapy is related to diving, some people are of the opinion that it involves taking a deep dive into a water body. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The process utilizes hyperbaric oxygen chambers with pressures of up to 2.2 ATA (equivalent to diving down to a distance of 40ft of seawater). With this pressure, the lungs can absorb more oxygen thereby helping the body fight infection and thus induce healing.
2. It Does More Than Heal Wounds
Contrary to common belief, HBOT is a powerful treatment that can heal quite a number of illnesses. When more oxygen is delivered to the body, a lot happens besides wound healing. People with decompression illness (DCI) can also benefit from having more oxygen in their body. In addition to healing wounds and DCI, FDA has approved this treatment for use in a number of areas including gas embolism, skin grafts, heat/fire burns, brain infections, anemia, bone marrow infections, radiation injuries, arterial insufficiency, gas gangrene, and more.
3. You Need A Few Sessions To Get Healed
Before you go in for treatment, you should be aware that it will take more than one treatment to be totally healed. Typically, one session takes about 110 minutes (90 minutes in the hyperbaric oxygen chambers and two 10-minute breaks). Depending on your condition, your doctor will prescribe 30 or more treatments for complete healing. If you get healed before the treatments are over, your doctor may stop them. Often, one treatment a day for five days a week until totally healed is ideal.
4. It Feels Like Flying On An Airplane
The hyperbaric oxygen chamber is basically a room that holds up to 10 patients. When you go in, a hood that provides 100% oxygenis placed on you. At first, this will feel like being in an airplane cabin. As the pressure soars, your ears will experience a painful sensation or a fluid buildup. Thankfully, after a while, this feeling gets bearable.
The Bottom line
Whether you have a wound that needs healing, experience DCI when you go scuba diving, or suffer from anemic attacks, HBOT can be highly beneficial. Of course, you need to do plenty of research to get the right clinic and doctor to book an appointment with. Lucky for you, you have an idea of what to expect from this guide.