What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. Known conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.

In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to 4 psi (about the equivalent of 12 feet of water) while the oxygen is concentrated and passed into the chamber. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. On average, the oxygen in your tissue is increased by about 3%.

Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulates the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Why is HBOT done?

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 therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat several medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in different ways. Your doctor may suggest hyperbaric oxygen therapy if you have one of the following conditions:

Your doctor may suggest hyperbaric oxygen therapy if you have one of the following conditions:

Alzheimer’s disease
Bell’s palsy
Brain injury
Cerebral palsy
Chronic fatigue syndrome

Gastrointestinal ulcers
Heart disease
Multiple sclerosis
Parkinson’s disease
Spinal cord injury
Sports injury

The FDA has not approved oxygen therapy for the following as they feel that there is not enough evidence in the positive studies that show hyperbaric oxygen therapy can effectively treat the following conditions.

Anemia, severe
Brain abscess
Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)
Decompression sickness
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Crushing injury

Deafness, sudden
Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death
Nonhealing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer
Radiation injury
Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death
Vision loss, sudden and painless