In the chamber, pure oxygen is pumped into your body at a higher pressure than usual. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is well known for treating scuba divers and carbon monoxide poisoning, but it has many other benefits.
It can help heal chronic wounds, including diabetic ulcers and radiation injuries. It increases blood flow, which can reduce inflammation and promote healing. It also helps relieve symptoms of concussion, PTSD and depression.
Our bodies are primarily made of oxygen, but our normal atmosphere only contains about 20% of it. This means our body’s ability to heal can be hindered when there isn’t enough oxygen to work properly. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves your body’s oxygen levels, allowing your cells and organs to take in more energy. It also increases your circulation so your body can effectively deliver oxygen and nutrients. A hyperbaric chamber is a small, pressurized room filled with pure oxygen. The air pressure in the chamber is typically two to three times what it would be outside of the section, and this traps extra oxygen molecules that are not normally able to enter your bloodstream. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy boosts your immune system, enhances anti-inflammatory responses and stimulates stem cells to repair damaged tissue. It treats many conditions, including carbon monoxide poisoning, nonhealing wounds, radiation injury and chronic inflammatory disease.
During treatment, your face is covered with a mask, and you breathe pure oxygen in a clear plexiglass chamber. The air pressure inside the room is higher than outside, allowing your body to absorb more oxygen.
The more oxygen you have, the better your body can fight infection. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy encourages your bone marrow to produce white blood cells, which help combat the bacteria or viruses that may attack your body.
You’ll be in the chamber for about an hour, and your doctor will monitor you often. You can pass the time by watching television or listening to music, a podcast or an audiobook. Some people find being in the chamber uncomfortable, especially claustrophobic, but the treatment is safe. If you experience discomfort, you can clear your ears by swallowing, yawning or opening and closing your mouth. The technician will give you breaks to allow you to breathe regular air.
The amount of oxygen that dissolves in your blood and tissues is increased with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This helps your body create new small blood vessels and improves how it heals itself. It can also help with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. Flooding your body with extra oxygen can speed up healing and make you feel better. It can also help with anxiety and depression, as well as PTSD. During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you’ll sit in a pressurized medical-grade chamber and alternate between pure oxygen and regular air. This treatment can trigger stem cell production and blood vessel growth, improving your health in many ways.
The chamber is very small and confined so it can cause claustrophobia in some people. It’s important to stay calm and not panic during treatments. Other risks include ear pain, sinus congestion and temporary nearsightedness due to air pressure changes that can affect the lenses of your eyes.
Your body’s tissues need oxygen to work properly. And if those tissues are injured, they need even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps your blood carry more oxygen to your tissues and brain and encourages your body’s natural healing processes. The air pressure in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber is 2 to 3 times higher than normal. You can get oxygen by wearing a mask or a lightweight, translucent hood. The increased pressure may cause you to feel fullness in your ears (like when you’re on an airplane or at a high elevation). It is easy to relieve this feeling by swallowing or yawning. In addition to boosting your energy levels, HBOT can help reduce your stress level. The treatment has been shown to significantly reduce PTSD symptoms in veterans and improve their quality of life.