Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) works by placing a patient inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, where the person breathes 100% oxygen and experiences a pressure increase equal to approximately 2.5 times normal atmospheric pressure. This pure oxygen and increased pressure allow red blood cells to deliver more oxygen to tissues and organs, and white blood cells to perform more effectively. Increasing a person’s oxygen levels allows the body to repair itself more efficiently and promotes overall wellness. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat many diseases and health issues.
The most common uses for HBOT are to treat decompression sickness and carbon monoxide poisoning. However, the list of diseases and conditions treated in hyperbaric oxygen chambers is extensive. Examples include closed head injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, autism, Lyme disease, swelling (edema), joint-related issues, peripheral neuropathy syndromes, poor circulation, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, complex regional pain syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoradionecrosis, crush injuries, brain edema, near drowning, acute hearing loss, radiation myelitis, certain liver disease, and recovery following cosmetic surgery. HBOT can also increase the effectiveness of some antibiotics and stimulate new blood vessel growth in order to increase blood flow in areas of poor circulation.