Why Your Doctor Might Recommend Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Why Your Doctor Might Recommend Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, can effectively treat many conditions. HBOT can be a primary treatment for some conditions and a complementary treatment for others. There are many reasons why your doctor might recommend that you receive hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a type of therapy that helps bring more oxygen into your bloodstream. The oxygen is then delivered to the tissues, which can help your body heal faster. When receiving hyperbaric therapy, you will lie in a pressurized chamber and breathe 100% oxygen. 

Why Would Your Doctor Recommend Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment?

There are many reasons that a doctor might recommend hyperbaric oxygen treatment as part of your care plan. 

Conditions Where HBOT Can Be the Primary Treatment

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment can be the primary treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning or decompression sickness. If you have either of these conditions, your physician may prescribe HBOT.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when someone breathes in too much carbon monoxide, and the carbon monoxide begins to replace the oxygen in the bloodstream. When a patient has CO poisoning, medical staff will first administer 100% oxygen. In some cases, CO poisoning can affect the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. Several studies suggest that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can reduce the risk of nerve and brain damage, making it a viable option to treat carbon monoxide poisoning.

Decompression Sickness

Decompression sickness is caused by gas bubbles forming in the bloodstream. It can happen when someone who is at a high or low altitude returns to a normal altitude too quickly. HBOT is the primary treatment for decompression sickness because it fills the blood with oxygen and reduces the number of bubbles and swelling. Many physicians recommend receiving HBOT to prevent long-term damage, even if your symptoms disappear after returning to normal altitude. 

Conditions Where HBOT Can Be Used Alongside Other Treatment

Many conditions use HBOT as part of a treatment plan to help the body heal faster. The following disorders and conditions may benefit from HBOT:

  • Severe anemia
  • Gas gangrene
  • Skin or bone infections
  • Skin grafts and flaps
  • Radiation injuries
  • Wounds
  • Burns
  • Crush injuries

What Are the Benefits of HBOT?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy supplies your body with more oxygen. Oxygen can do a lot of good for your body and its processes. Some of the benefits that you might experience after receiving HBOT include:

  • An increase in your body’s ability to fight infection.
  • A faster healing process.
  • Decreased swelling and less overall inflammation.
  • Improved and more efficient immune system.
  • Reduced fatigue.

If you have any of the conditions mentioned above and aren’t satisfied with the speed of your healing, then consider speaking with your physician about trying HBOT. Hospitals don’t always have the facilities or equipment to offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy, so your physician can refer you to a separate facility that offers hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

How Does HBOT Speed Up Healing?

When you receive HBOT, you add more oxygen to your plasma and blood. This oxygen can then be transported to tissue that is starved for oxygen. The oxygen helps your body heal itself. Oxygen can also stimulate the growth of white blood cells, which are used to fight infection, and supports the formation of new blood vessels.

Is HBOT Safe?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe therapy with only a few rare risks. The most common side effects during HBOT are pressure in the ears, the way you might experience when taking off in an airplane, and fatigue after receiving treatment. You can pop your ears as you regularly would for relief, and the fatigue should subside shortly. HBOT may not be suitable for those who have recently gotten ear surgery or those with certain lung diseases. Speak with your physician about whether you would be a good candidate for HBOT.

Where Can I Get HBOT?

HBOT can help your body heal and improve your immune system, making it an effective treatment for many conditions. If you are interested in HBOT, speak with your physician about the treatment. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment requires a prescription, so you may need one before making an appointment at a facility. Once you have a prescription, you can find a facility with the proper equipment and make an appointment.