Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. Hyperbaric oxygen remedy is a well-established remedy for decompression sickness, a potential risk of scuba diving. Other conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy embody 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 remedy chamber, the air pressure is elevated two to 3 times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can collect a lot more oxygen than could be potential breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.

When your blood carries this additional oxygen all through your body, this helps struggle micro organism and stimulate the release of drugs called development factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Why it’s 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 will increase the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. With repeated scheduled remedies, the short-term additional high oxygen levels encourage normal tissue oxygen levels, even after the remedy is completed.

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy is used to treat several medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in several ways. Your physician may suggest hyperbaric oxygen remedy you probably have 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


Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue loss of life

Nonhealing wounds, resembling a diabetic foot ulcer

Radiation injury

Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue dying

Traumatic brain injury

Vision loss, sudden and painless


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

Potential risks include:

Center ear accidents, together with leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, as a result of changes in air pressure

Short-term nearsightedness (myopia) caused by momentary eye lens modifications

Lung collapse caused by air pressure changes (barotrauma)

Seizures because of an excessive amount of oxygen (oxygen toxicity) in your central nervous system

Lowered blood sugar in people who have diabetes handled with insulin

In sure circumstances, fire — as a result of oxygen-rich surroundings of the therapy chamber

How you put together

You will be provided with a hospital-approved gown or scrubs to wear rather than common clothing during the procedure.

In your safety, items akin to lighters or battery-powered units that generate heat usually are not allowed into the hyperbaric chamber. In addition, you might have to remove hair and skin care products which are petroleum primarily based, as they’re a possible fire hazard. Your health care group 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 but will also be provided while you’re hospitalized.

On the whole, there are two 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 a number of people. In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which normally looks like a large hospital room — it’s possible you’ll sit or lie down. Chances are you’ll receive oxygen via a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.

Whether you’re in a person or multiperson surroundings for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the benefits are the same.

Throughout remedy, the air pressure within the room is about two to 3 instances the conventional air pressure. The elevated air pressure will create a temporary feeling of fullness in your ears — just like what you would possibly really feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You may relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

For many conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy lasts approximately hours. Members of your health care crew will monitotherwise you and the therapy unit throughout your treatment.

After hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Your remedy team assesses you including looking in your ears and taking your blood pressure and pulse. If you have diabetes, your blood glucose is checked. Once the workforce decides you are ready, you will get dressed and leave.

You may really feel somewhat tired or hungry following your treatment. This does not limit regular activities.


To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you may likely want more than one session. The number of periods depends upon your medical condition. Some conditions, akin to carbon monoxide poisoning, is likely to be handled in three visits. Others, corresponding to nonhealing wounds, might require 40 remedies or more.