Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a process of using oxygen higher than the atmospheric pressure, which is now used in treating various treatments. The word “Hyper” refers to “increased” and “baric” refers to “pressure”. While we breathe, normally we take in 20% oxygen and the rest 80% is nitrogen. But while undergoing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, a person’s whole body is exposed to 100% of pure oxygen greater than the normal atmospheric pressure. Here the pressure is increased to about twice the normal pressure. (i.e 2 ATA).
Experts recommend Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as it is simple, safe, non-invasive and non-toxic. The process provides all the support that is required to heal and effectively fights against infection which is vital for treating any illness. Moreover, it improves the patient’s quality of life after the treatment positively.
When there is an increased pressure and oxygen, it results in dissolving the oxygen throughout the tissues and blood cells which is 10 times more than the normal concentration. This repairs the damaged cells, relieves pain, and fights against infection. This process has proved to be effective in treating various illnesses.
The benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) are listed below:
1. Increases blood flow and oxygen levels:
Though there is block in blood flow, this therapy can increase the oxygen in all parts of the body and the tissues. With induced vasoconstriction and hyper-oxygenation, HBOT increases the plasma-oxygen concentration which is 10 to 15 times more than the usual level.
The hyperbaric oxygen therapy boosts the level of Oxygen (O2) in the blood stream which in turn treats the damaged cells by stimulating the release of chemicals.W This promotes the healing process and also improves the formation of new blood vessels.
2. Reduces damages of toxic gases and radiation:
When a patient’s tissues are exposed to oxygen under pressure, it reduces the damages that are caused by toxic gases like carbon monoxide and forces them out from the body.
Patients suffering from cancer are treated under radiation which in turn results in chronic bone and tissue damages due to the radiation effects. While the radiation therapy kills the cancer cells, it also damages other blood cells that are surrounded. In few cases, those radiations may damage the blood flow and cause bleeding.
With the help of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, new capillaries are grown in the place of damaged ones, thereby stopping the bleeding.
3. Heals wounds, burns and other traumatic injury:
Hyperbaric therapy causes vasoconstriction without affecting oxygenation of tissues significantly. This could help in managing intermediate compartment syndrome and in addition reduces inflammation. This action can speed up the healing process for all types of wounds, burns and other traumatic injuries.
4. Aids in new blood vessel growth and also stimulates growth of new tissues:
One of the important benefits of Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is that it provides an excellent condition for new tissue growth, as oxygen therapy encourages collagen to form which is a basic foundation for new blood vessels. Mainly, this oxygen healing process stimulates the new cell growth in the damaged tissues which is very important in healing an injured part. All these factors when combined, provides the result faster.
5. Helps in recovery from brain injury:
With the stimulated tissue growth, metabolism and blood flow, hyperbaric oxygen therapy provided scientific evidence of being helpful in treating patients with brain injuries. In this treatment, the dormant neurons are reawakened. Hence, the therapy can improve the recovery from injuries in brain by invigorating the sleeping neurons.
6. Fights against Infections:
The tissues inside the patient’s body are saturated with oxygen, after the procedure of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This reduces the anaerobic bacteria which thrives to cause infection and spreads throughout the body. The oxygen therapy enhances the white blood action in order to kill the bacteria and fungi.
Note that all the patients do not qualify for the hyperbaric therapy treatment. Following are the conditions that are approved to seek the hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatment:
- Decompression sickness
- Severe anemia
- Delayed radiation effects
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Crush injury
- Chronic bone infections
- Arterial insufficiencies
- Air embolism
- Intracranial abscesses
- Soft tissue infections
- Acute brain injury
Recently, oxygen therapy is also involved in the treatment of chronic degenerative health problems such as stroke, diabetic ulcers, brain injury, atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease, macular degeneration, cerebral palsy, wound healing, multiple sclerosis and many other disorders. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy aids in the treatment whenever there is reduced blood flow and oxygen to the parts of the body. For instance, if a patient’s brain is injured by stroke, trauma or CP, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has the ability to reactivate the damaged parts and hence, restore proper function.