Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is a medical treatment that uses pressurized oxygen to help with medical conditions. It's a type of treatment that uses high oxygen levels to improve tissue healing and oxygenation, such as restoring brain function after a stroke or injury.
The treatment is also used briefly in decompression, and it can be used while driving and during the early stages of lung transplant surgery when blood clotting is at risk. It has also been used for wounds to accelerate healing, such as burns.
It is often used for patients who suffer from decompression sickness, acute carbon monoxide poisoning, near drowning, or an avulsion injury. More recently, treatments using hyperbaric oxygen have begun to be used for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment essentially involves the use of pressurized oxygen to treat tissues. The increased pressure activates the cell mitochondria and stimulates healthy cell growth, repair, and elimination of waste products.
In some cases, it is used on damaged tissues before surgery to reduce scar tissue formation and increase blood flow. It is used between wound closures or surgical incisions to encourage healing in more challenging situations. When used as a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it stimulates natural lung regeneration and maintains healthy blood flow and oxygenation levels in the body.
When to consider hyperbaric oxygen Treatment?
1. Allergies and asthma
Patients with life-threatening allergies who are allergic to bee stings, for example, and suffer from severe respiratory distress can be prescribed this treatment.
2. Bone or skin infections, including diabetic foot ulcers
Acute bone or skin infections in which the disease is caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viral infections can be treated using hyperbaric oxygen.
3. Broken bones
Broken bones can be healed faster using hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The treatment helps with the healing process and removes dead cells from the bones, making them smoother and more elastic.
4. Inflammation and swelling
Suppose you have arthritis due to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia. In that case, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is recommended as it reduces inflammation and improves blood flow to critical joints.
5. Chronic heart failure patients
This is one of the main reasons hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be prescribed to heart failure patients. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps the patient improve cardiovascular and pulmonary function, increase lung perfusion, and decrease heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting time.
What to expect from Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment?
As with most health treatments, Hyperbaric oxygen treatment may initially cause some side effects, and they can be mild such as nausea, or severe such s rashes or swelling of the face.
The most common problem is the potential of oxygen toxicity, which can lead to symptoms similar to carbon monoxide poisoning or caustic burns. Symptoms include headache and shortness of breath, confusion, and weakness. If this occurs, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
By the time you get home from a hyperbaric oxygen treatment, you will be feeling relaxed and more healthy. You will likely find that your skin looks healthier and that any allergies and asthma symptoms have improved. Once treatment is complete, you can go on with your life without the worries of severe respiratory or skin problems.