For over 70 years, doctors have turned to hyperbaric oxygen therapy to help injured tissues recover. According to the research, it helps chronic wounds heal faster.
By boosting the amount of oxygen carried by blood cells, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to hasten the recovery of injured or infected tissues. Hyperbaric pressure is characterized by its combination of the words “hyper” and “baric,” which indicate “increased” and “pressure,” respectively.
The hyperbaric chamber is where the treatment takes place; thus, the patient will go there. Patients get their hoods put on in the chamber. Patients are able to breathe pure oxygen in a pressurized environment thanks to the pressurized chamber and hoods.
A hyperbaric chamber is available at several healthcare facilities. A smaller unit size may be provided in outpatient facilities.
In a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, the air pressure is about 2.5 times that of atmospheric pressure. This increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry, which benefits your organs and tissues.
The higher oxygen pressure in the tissues may have additional benefits, including:
- Better and more abundant oxygen supply
- Decreased edema and swelling
- Putting an end to the spread of infection
Infected wounds, in particular, benefit greatly from hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Treatment with this method can be used for:
- Crush injuries
- Certain types of brain or sinus infections
- Gas gangrene
- Wounds that have not healed with other treatments (for example, it may be used to treat a foot ulcer in someone with diabetes or very bad circulation)
- Radiation injury (for example, damage from radiation therapy for cancer)
- Skin grafts
- Bone infections (osteomyelitis) that do not improve with other treatments
- Air or gas embolism
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections
- Decompression sickness (for example, a diving injury)
- Frost bites
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
“Whole lung lavage” is a medical process used to clear the entire lung in patients with specific medical disorders, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be utilized to ensure that the patient receives an adequate amount of oxygen during the procedure.
It is common for chronic diseases to require multiple sessions of treatment spread out across several days or weeks. A longer therapy session for a more acute disease, such as decompression sickness, may not be necessary.
The hyperbaric chamber could cause some discomfort in the ears. The pressure in the chamber is so high that your ears may bulge as you emerge.