What is HBOT/What happens during it
It is a non-invasive treatment whereby the person is inside a chamber, under a prescribed amount of increased atmospheric pressure of 100% pure oxygen (Passwater, 2020). This increase is usually anywhere from 1.5 to 3 times the normal amount (hopkinsmedicine.org), and this results in your lungs being able to gather much more oxygen than under normal conditions.
The body’s tissues require an added amount of oxygen to function; when tissues are somehow damaged, an even higher level of oxygen is required to fulfil these functions. As HBOT increases the amount of oxygen that can be carried through the blood, it helps fight bacteria and stimulate the necessary substances of growth factors and stem cells. As a result, with repetitive intervention of this therapy, the temporary stimulation of higher oxygen intake encourages normal levels in tissues to be reached naturally, post-therapy (mayoclinic.org).
Benefits/How it works
- Reduces swelling & inflammation – swelling is caused by leakage of fluid into the tissues as a result of damaged blood vessels. This resultant swelling then in turn deprives the tissues of oxygen which ultimately leads to tissue death. Therefore, the aim of HBOT is to break this cycle, of oxygen starvation, tissue death & swelling, by increasing the levels of oxygen in the blood.
- Improve energy levels & tissue function
- Reduce pain
- Strengthens the immune system – as well as the higher concentration of oxygen helping to resist infection, HBOT improves the ability of white blood cells to find & destroy invaders and can disable the toxins of certain bacteria.
- Promote collagen, bone and cartilage repair and regeneration – via encouraging the formation of new blood vessels.
- Increases one of the body’s most crucial antioxidant defenses against oxidative stress: superoxides dismutase, (SODs).
What it’s good for
Though Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been a treatment for various conditions for years, more recently it’s also used for treatments in the following conditions:-
- Cerebral Palsy;
Types of Chamber
- Monoplace – built for 1 person; long plastic tube that resembles an MRI machine; person lies inside & it fills with pure oxygen – used at Blue Skies
- Multiplace – fits 2+ at one time; treatment the same; the only difference is the oxygen is inhaled through masks/hoods.
Is it for you?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy isn’t for everyone; more oxygen may not always mean better/be what’s best for you/your child.
A common ‘side effect’ of using the oxygen chamber can also be it can cause your ears to pop, due to the increased atmospheric pressure.
Therefore it may not always be recommended to/best suited for those with inner ear problems, (e.g. Tinnitus).
If you are unsure whether HBOT would be suitable – you can book a FREE consultation with the Blue Skies team.
You can also request their FREE guide for more information. It provides key questions to ask about safety, training & standards, as well as the questions you should be asked before treatment, and dispels the pressure myth.
Featured Photo:- Oxygen Chamber at Blue Skies
John Hopkins Medicine. 2021. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. [Online]. [Accessed 13 April 2021]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy
Mayo Clinic. ca. 1998-2021. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. [Online]. [Accessed 13 April 2021]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy/about/pac-20394380
Passwater, G. 2020. Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment. [Online]. [Accessed 14 April 2021]. Available from: https://www.parentingspecialneeds.org/article/hyperbaric-oxygen-treatment/