Explore the transformative power of hyperbaric chamber therapy. This treatment, involving the inhalation of pure oxygen in a pressurized environment, offers hope and healing for conditions such as wounds, carbon monoxide poisoning, and sports injuries. Discover the evidence pointing to the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), as well as the risks, operational principles, benefits, and potential side effects.

Key Takeaways

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a well-established treatment with multiple applications. HBOT has been in use since the 17th century1 with various applications, including serious infections, wound healing, carbon monoxide poisoning, and decompression sickness.2
  • HBOT involves inhaling almost pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber to increase blood oxygen levels and facilitate healing, with proven efficacy in treating conditions such as chronic wounds, diabetic ulcers,3 and mental health issues like anxiety and depression.4
  • While HBOT is generally safe, clients and medical professionals should consider the potential risks, such as oxygen poisoning and barotrauma. Technological advancements continue to improve HBOT’s accessibility, personalization, and efficiency in medical applications.

Exploring the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has a long history dating back to the 17th century. Although the technology and understanding of HBOT have evolved significantly since then, the fundamental concept of using a pressurized environment to facilitate healing remains the same. Today, we have advanced hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers that provide an effective treatment option for various medical conditions.

History of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

The history of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) stretches back to the 17th century1 with the use of pressurized chambers. While early applications utilized compressed air, concerns about safety led to a shift towards using pure oxygen under pressure in the 20th century. 

In the 1660s, British physician Henshaw pioneered the use of increased atmospheric pressure for therapeutic purposes.5 However, oxygen’s medical benefits were not fully realized until the 19th century. Originally used to treat decompression sickness in divers, HBOT’s applications have grown to encompass various conditions by promoting healing through increased oxygen delivery to tissues.

Today, healthcare providers use hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an effective treatment for a range of conditions including infections, complex wounds, decompression sickness from diving accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning, radiation injuries from cancer treatments, and diabetic foot ulcers resisting standard care methods.

HBOT can also foster recovery for non-healing wounds due to various causes such as circulation problems or repeated injury cycles, crush injuries typically seen after natural disasters like earthquakes, and thermal burns suffered at high temperatures,6 along with other disorders involving soft tissue infections.

The Design and Types of Chambers

Two main varieties of hyperbaric chambers are utilized in hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT): monoplace units and multiplace chambers. The monoplace unit is designed for a single person, with the patient reclining on a table that slides into a transparent plastic tube, pressurized with 100% oxygen.

In contrast, multiplace chambers have more in common with spacious hospital rooms, providing enough room to treat several patients simultaneously.

The Fundamental Operating Principles of HBOT

The fundamental concepts behind HBOT are straightforward and efficient. The treatment requires patients to breathe in pure oxygen within a chamber with elevated air pressure, which boosts blood oxygen concentrations and promotes tissue repair and wound healing. An HBOT technician raises the air pressure inside the chamber to approximately two to three times greater than that found at normal atmospheric levels. 

What Happens During a Hyperbaric Therapy Session?

During ahyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) session, patients may experience a slight ear fullness due to the elevation in air pressure. However, this sensation is usually temporary, and patients can easily alleviate it by swallowing or chewing gum. HBOT technicians should follow strict safety protocols for patients with internal devices, such as pacemakers or cardiac defibrillators, to ensure their well-being.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Potential Benefits and  Treatment Applications

HBOT, renowned for its wide spectrum of medical uses, is particularly effective due to its capacity to saturate tissues with high levels of oxygen. This treatment modality proves beneficial in a multitude of scenarios, listed in more detail below.

Combatting Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

One of the primary applications of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is to address carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.7 This treatment operates by infusing a controlled, pressurized environment with pure oxygen, to remove CO from hemoglobin and restore the delicate balance needed to facilitate proper delivery of oxygen to bodily tissues. HBOT is especially potent when applied during the initial six hours following carbon monoxcide exposure.

Healing Chronic Wounds and Diabetic Ulcers

HBOT is known for effectively treating chronic wounds and diabetic foot ulcers by increasing oxygen supply, fighting bacteria, and promoting tissue regeneration.

In cases where diabetes patients suffer from gas gangrene or severe diabetic foot ulcers – specifically, those rated at Wagner grade 3 or above8 – HBOT emerges as a potent therapeutic option due to the significant extent of tissue injury involved.

Alleviating Decompression Sickness

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a proven treatment for decompression sickness because it therapeutically compresses the body, which helps dissolve gas bubbles in the blood and tissues. This process speeds up the removal of inert gases from the body by using increased atmospheric pressure. HBOT also helps prevent the risk of air or gas embolism during decompression.

Mental Health Applications for HBOT

In more recent history, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has risen as a reputable tool for treating mental health issues.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Depression

Depression, a prevalent mood disorder, can severely disrupt an individual’s daily life. Current studies indicate hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may offer significant potential as an effective treatment for depression.4

HBOT’s ability to enhance the oxygen supply delivered to brain tissue may act as a mitigator of depression symptoms.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental health issues worldwide. HBOT, similar to its use in depression, may offer relief for anxiety by enhancing the brain’s supply of oxygen, and could thereby mitigate symptoms such as sensations of apprehension and disquiet associated with anxiety.

HBOT for Sports Injuries

There is a growing interest in the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in sports medicine for the prevention of injuries and rehabilitation. HBOT has the potential to cover a wide range of injuries associated with physical activity,9including fostering injury prevention, management, and recuperation]. HBOT catalyzes the body’s innate healing abilities, diminishes inflammation, and accelerates convalescence time.10 The treatment stands out as a prime therapeutic choice for athletes aiming for a swift comeback to their respective sports after sustaining injuries.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Hypoxic Brain Injury

When the brain is deprived of oxygen, a hypoxic brain injury can occur. Several medical conditions, such as stroke, cardiac arrest, and severe respiratory illnesses, may cause this type of injury. Some of the latest studiess how hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) might be beneficial in managing hypoxic brain injuries.11

By delivering high levels of oxygen under pressure, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may aid in reviving brain function and improving outcomes for patients.

HBOT Treatment for Concussion

Recent research indicates that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may be beneficial for concussion recovery,12 a common traumatic brain injury seen in both contact sports and automobile accidents. HBOT can support concussion recovery by enhancing blood flow to the brain, further supporting the healing process.

The Role of HBOT in Neurological Conditions

Recent studies credit hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) as a viable treatment for neurological disorders.12 Evidence points to the possibility that HBOT might enhance cognitive abilities, provide relief from symptoms in children with autistism, and slow down the progression of cognitive deterioration associated with diseases that come with aging.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Stem Cell Activation

Exciting new research shows hyperbaric oxygen therapy can promote increased stem cell regeneration from bone marrow at twice the typical amount.13 This breakthrough highlights the potential for leveraging HBOT within the realm of regenerative medicine, offering promising avenues for medical advancements.

Transform Your Health with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Plus by APN

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an innovative treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing processesm stimulates the immune system, and reduces pain and inflammation. 

At Plus by APN, we provide state-of-the-art HBOT treatments for traumatic brain injuries, depression, and PTSD in Edwards, CO, and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. We incorporate FDA-approved for a wide range of medical conditions alongside off-label uses to cater to your specific health needs.

Customized HBOT Protocols at Plus by APN

At Plus by APN, we use an integrative approach to mental healthcare, combining medication, therapy, and neurotechnology. We use cutting-edge therapies like hyperbaric oxygen therapy to provide thorough and successful treatment regimens that promote neurological recovery and support mental wellness.

We meticulously tailor every treatment plan to address the unique requirements of each patient. This personalized strategy ensures optimal care, fostering enhanced results from the treatment and heightened levels of patient satisfaction.

Why Choose Plus by APN?

  • Personalized Care: We tailor each treatment plan to your unique health requirements, ensuring optimal results and satisfaction.
  • Comprehensive Support: From your initial consultation to the completion of treatment, we offer continuous support and monitoring to ensure your progress and success.
  • Holistic Approach: Beyond HBOT, we integrate medication, therapy, and other cutting-edge treatments to provide a comprehensive approach to your mental and physical health.

Take the First Step Towards Enhanced Wellness

Discover the transformative benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Connect with us at Plus by APN to take control of your health and well-being today. Book your consultation to embark on a path to total body wellness with our expert team by your side.

The Future of Hyperbaric Medicine and Research Directions

The horizon of hyperbaric medicine is broadening, with HBOT’s potential uses growing ever more diverse. Some of these notable applications include:

  • Management of neurological disorders
  • Stem cell stimulation and increased activation
  • Acceleration of wound healing
  • Control and relief from chronic pain symptoms
  • Enhancement in sports performance capabilities

These prospects within hyperbaric medicine represent just a fraction of the thrilling array of healing opportunities.

Advancements in Technology and Patient Care

Technological progress is revolutionizing hyperbaric medicine. The development of compact, transportable hyperbaric chambers alongside advanced monitoring technologies has significantly enhanced the accessibility and effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the hyperbaric chamber used for?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), administered in a hyperbaric chamber, facilitates the acceleration of recovery from ailments such as carbon monoxide poisoning, gangrene, and wounds or infections that are not healing properly by delivering an increased supply of oxygen to tissues.

Is sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber good?

Indeed, using a hyperbaric chamber for sleep can markedly diminish inflammation throughout the body and improve cell oxygenation. This results in beneficial outcomes for tissues, muscles, joints, and cerebral functions.

What does a hyperbaric chamber do?

The increased air pressure within a hyperbaric chamber assists the lungs in gathering more oxygen, which supports tissue repair and maintains regular bodily operations. Supplying additional oxygen to tissues that require it can aid the body’s healing process and combat various infections.

Final Thoughts

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment that delivers high concentrations of oxygen in pressurized environments. It has been found to be effective in promoting wound healing and managing various mental health disorders. 

As research continues to evolve, the scope of HBOT’s clinical uses continues to broaden. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the transformative effects of HBOT for yourself. At Plus by APN, we offer personalized hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocols to improve your health and well-being. 

Contact us to schedule your consultation and experience the benefits of HBOT.

References

  1. Skiba, Małgorzata, et al. “Late Application of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy during the Rehabilitation of a Patient with Severe Cognitive Impairment After a Traumatic Brain Injury.” Clinical Case Reports, vol. 9, no. 2, 2021, pp. 960-965, https://doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.3658. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.
  2. Ortega, Miguel A., et al. “A General Overview on the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Applications, Mechanisms and Translational Opportunities.” Medicina, vol. 57, no. 9, 2021, https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57090864. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.
  3. Vinkel, Julie, et al. “Protocol: Effects of Adding Adjunctive Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Standard Wound Care for Diabetic Foot Ulcers: a Protocol for a Systematic Review with Meta-analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis.” BMJ Open, vol. 10, no. 6, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031708. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.
  4. Feng, Juan, and Hui Li. “Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on Depression and Anxiety in the Patients with Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury (a STROBE-compliant Article).” Medicine, vol. 96, no. 29, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000007334. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.
  5. Smolle, Christian, et al. “The History and Development of Hyperbaric Oxygenation (HBO) in Thermal Burn Injury.” Medicina, vol. 57, no. 1, 2021, https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010049. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.
  6. Kübra Özgök Kangal, and Abdullah Arslan. “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Earthquake Victims.” Cam & Sakura Medical Journal, 3(1): 30-41, 2023, https://jag.journalagent.com/csmedj/pdfs/CSM_3_1_30_41.pdf
  7. Buboltz JB, Robins M. Hyperbaric Treatment of Carbon Monoxide Toxicity. [Updated 2023 Apr 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470531/
  8. Ennis, William J., et al. “Impact of Hyperbaric Oxygen on More Advanced Wagner Grades 3 and 4 Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Matching Therapy to Specific Wound Conditions.” Advances in Wound Care, vol. 7, no. 12, 2018, pp. 397-407,  https://doi.org/10.1089/wound.2018.0855. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.
  9. Moghadam, Navid et al. “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Sports Musculoskeletal Injuries.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise vol. 52,6 (2020): 1420-1426. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000002257
  10. Choudhury, Ryan. “Hypoxia and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: A Review.” International Journal of General Medicine, vol. 11, 2018, pp. 431-442,  https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S172460. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.
  11. Hu, Qin, et al. “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury: Bench-to-bedside.” Medical Gas Research, vol. 6, no. 2, 2016, pp. 102-110,  https://doi.org/10.4103/2045-9912.184720. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.
  12. Hu, Qin, et al. “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Post Concussion Symptoms: Issues May Affect the Results.” Medical Gas Research, vol. 5, 2015, https://doi.org/10.1186/s13618-015-0033-3. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.

Liska, Grant M., et al. “A Dual Role for Hyperbaric Oxygen in Stroke Neuroprotection: Preconditioning of the Brain and Stem Cells.” Conditioning Medicine, vol. 1, no. 4, 2018, p. 151, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075658/. Accessed 18 Mar. 2024.