Hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy includes breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. Hyperbaric oxygen remedy is a well-established remedy for decompression sickness, a potential risk of scuba diving. Different conditions handled with hyperbaric oxygen remedy embrace severe infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t 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 regular air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can collect much more oxygen than could be possible breathing pure oxygen at regular air pressure.

When your blood carries this further oxygen throughout your body, this helps battle bacteria and stimulate the discharge of drugs called development factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Why it’s accomplished

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 remedies, the non permanent additional high oxygen levels encourage regular tissue oxygen levels, even after the therapy is completed.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat several medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in numerous ways. Your physician might counsel hyperbaric oxygen remedy when you’ve got one of the following conditions:

Extreme 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 loss of life

Nonhealing wounds, equivalent to a diabetic foot ulcer

Radiation injury

Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death

Traumatic brain injury

Vision loss, sudden and painless


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

Potential risks embrace:

Center ear injuries, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, attributable to changes in air pressure

Momentary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by momentary eye lens changes

Lung collapse caused by air pressure changes (barotrauma)

Seizures because of too much oxygen (oxygen toxicity) 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 remedy chamber

How you put together

You may be provided with a hospital-approved gown or scrubs to wear instead of common clothing during the procedure.

To your safety, items comparable to lighters or battery-powered units that generate heat aren’t allowed into the hyperbaric chamber. In addition, chances are you’ll must remove hair and skin care products which might be petroleum based mostly, as they’re a possible fire hazard. Your health care workforce will provide instruction on preparing you to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

During hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure however will also be provided while you might be hospitalized.

In general, there are 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 several people. In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which normally looks like a large hospital room — you could sit or lie down. It’s possible you’ll receive oxygen through a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.

Whether or not you’re in an individual or multiperson environment for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the benefits are the same.

During remedy, the air pressure in the room is about to three occasions the traditional air pressure. The increased air pressure will create a brief feeling of fullness in your ears — similar to what you would possibly feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You may relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

For many conditions, hyperbaric oxygen remedy lasts approximately two hours. Members of your health care workforce will monitor you and the therapy unit throughout your treatment.

After hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Your therapy group assesses you including looking in your ears and taking your blood pressure and pulse. When you’ve got diabetes, your blood glucose is checked. Once the staff decides you might be ready, you will get dressed and leave.

You may feel considerably tired or hungry following your treatment. This doesn’t limit regular activities.


To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you will likely want more than one session. The number of classes is dependent upon your medical condition. Some conditions, comparable to carbon monoxide poisoning, might be treated in three visits. Others, comparable to nonhealing wounds, could require forty remedies or more.