What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) refers to the medical use of oxygen delivered in a highly pressurized body chamber called a “hyperbaric chamber.”
These chambers provide the ability to control atmospheric conditions and increase pressure levels up to three times that of normal environments.
While the normal air we breathe is roughly 21% oxygen, air inhaled during hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT ) can be up to 100% oxygen.
Oxygen provides vital energy to the mitochondria of every cell in the body, and under regular atmospheric conditions, is transported throughout the body solely by red blood cells.
By creating a pressurized environment inside the chamber, the concentration of oxygen delivered to the lungs is significantly increased, allowing the lungs to absorb and dissolve more oxygen into the bloodstream, and deliver oxygen to tissues around the body at an expedited rate.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is painless and is performed every other day as part of patients’ Autoimmune Disease Treatment Program at Hope4Immunity.
What are the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an effective treatment option that can benefit any patient who is healing from a condition triggered by inflammation in the body.
Inhalation of oxygen at high pressure has been found to have beneficial effects in overall oxygenation of the body, and supports other therapies that depend on oxygenation at the tissue level.
During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, oxygen is dissolved in all of the body’s fluids including plasma, the brain, central nervous system fluids, lymphatic system, and can then be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked, such as tissues with compromised circulatory function.
Many areas of tissue damage or cancerous growth are characterized by a low supply of oxygen and hyperbaric oxygen therapy can make inroads to resupply these areas.
Extra oxygen in the body can also help where healing is slowed down by infection or where blood supply is limited by circulatory issues or damage to the tissues, stimulating positive effects on the immune system.
Increased oxygenation improves the body’s natural defense mechanisms; strengthens white bloods cells which work to fight infections, kill bacteria, and reduce swelling/inflammation; allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly in affected areas; and assists in the detoxification of toxins and metabolic wastes.
Is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) safe?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is extremely safe when performed under medical supervision.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is simple, painless and non-invasive. It is used to treat many different types of conditions including treatments for autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, chronic Lyme disease, migraine, multiple sclerosis, near drowning, recovery from plastic surgery, sports injuries, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
Most common side effects include reversible barotrauma to the ears and sinuses caused by change of pressure. Sometimes changes in vision may also occur temporarily.
There are three stages of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to transition the body between atmospheric pressure and the hyperbaric pressure environment, all while under the medical supervision to monitor how you react to rate of compression and decompression.
The first stage consists of sealing and compressing the hyperbaric chamber, and gradually increasing pressure.
During this stage, it is common for your ears to “pop”, similar to the pressure experienced on a commercial flight during takeoff.
The next stage achieves a state of isopressure, at which the hyperbaric chamber maintains the desired pressure while the patient is monitored for a defined period of time.
Pressure rates and length of treatment are predetermined by patients and their medical team, based on the condition being treated.
The final stage is decompression, during which pressure levels are gradually lowered again, and patients are re-acclimated to normal atmospheric conditions.
Similar to a commercial flight landing, it is common for ears to “pop” again as pressure is lowered.
If you feel discomfort or intolerable ear pain, the rate of decompression can be lowered to provide a more comfortable adjustment period.