Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is increasingly being recommended by physicians across the nation to treat patients for varied health afflictions.
However, there are certain tips that patients or caregivers need to consider prior to choosing the best hyperbaric chamber for undergoing this alternative treatment.
Listed herewith is a brief overview of the HBOT treatment and hyperbaric chamber types available in the market:
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?
Physicians have used hyperbaric oxygen therapy, an adjunctive treatment solution, since the early 1960s’, to treat ailments ranging from decompression sickness in naval divers to complex neurological disorders.
Hyperbaric experts have conducted several controlled studies in the last six decades to explore the efficacy of HBOT whilst treating numerous medical conditions. The optimistic outcome of these clinical studies, coupled with the favorable feedback from patients and caregivers alike, has reiterated the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Currently, the FDA has approved the use of HBOT to treat the following medical conditions:
- Decompression Sickness.
- Radiation Injury.
- Burn Injury.
- Non-healing Diabetic Wounds.
- Acute Anemia.
- Acute Traumatic Ischemia.
- Gas or Air Embolism.
- Compromised Skin Flaps.
- Cyanide Poisoning.
- Necrotizing Infections.
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
- Gas Gangrene.
Apart from the above-mentioned conditions, HBOT is being recommended to patients ailing from Parkinson’s’ disease, Alzheimer’s’ disease, PTSD, cancer, autism spectrum disorder, and other serious afflictions.
Medical experts firmly believe that a majority of these disorders occur due to lowered blood oxygen levels in the affected areas of the body or brain, thereby leading to prolonged recovery.
The HBOT Treatment Decoded:
The process of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is simple and involves the use of pressurized pure unadulterated oxygen to provide requisite relief to patients.
During the HBOT treatment, the patient is placed in a pressurized vessel known as a hyperbaric chamber wherein qualified experts dispense pure oxygen to the concerned individual through tubes or a facial mask.
The pressurized environment inside the hyperbaric chamber is 1.2 to 3 times greater than normal atmospheric pressure at sea level. The enhanced pressure enables the induced pure oxygen to instantly dissolve into the body fluids of the patient and boosts the oxygen-rich plasma to the affected areas of the body or brain wherein the tissues are damaged or dormant due to the reduced blood supply.
The surge of enriched plasma into the injured areas of the body during HBOT process is known to:
- Reduce Inflammation.
- Prevent Cell Death.
- Aid in Fresh Tissue Regeneration.
- Improve Immunity.
- Expedite the Healing Process.
An average HBOT therapy session is administered for 60-90 minutes, five times a week, spanning over a month or two. These sessions can be extended or reduced depending upon the patient’s medical condition.
How Can Patients Choose An Ideal Hyperbaric Chamber?
There are two salient features that have to be considered before investing in a hyperbaric chamber.
#1 – Soft Side Hyperbaric Chamber:
A soft-sided or mild hyperbaric chamber is used to infuse pure oxygen levels to individuals at pressures that vary between 1.2 to 3 ATA.
These chambers are also known as monoplace hyperbaric chambers and can be installed at smaller medical facilities such as clinics, wellness centers or homes.
#2 – Hard Side Hyperbaric Chamber:
A hard-side hyperbaric chamber or multiplace chamber can be used to simultaneously dispense pressurized oxygen to multiple patients at enhanced levels of up to 6 ATA.
These chambers are best suited for large medical facilities such as multi-specialty hospitals.
Hyperbaric Chamber Design:
Patients undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy have the option of picking either a vertical chamber or a horizontal chamber.
Users with claustrophobia can undergo HBOT in a seated position by opting for a vertical hyperbaric chamber as laying down in a horizontal chamber can trigger heightened anxiety.
Patients with physiological issues can choose a horizontal hyperbaric chamber as these devices are equipped with a bed and provide the users with the desired comfort during the HBOT session.
Portable Hyperbaric Chamber:
A portable hyperbaric chamber is constructed from lightweight urethane or canvas. Users purchasing this type of a chamber can transport the device to any location and install the same in a hotel room or residence in a hassle-free manner.
Top athletes and Hollywood celebrities are known to prefer investing in portable hyperbaric chambers.
How To Choose The Right Hyperbaric Chamber Dimensions:
It is important for individuals to ensure that the diameter, circumference, and length of the hyperbaric chamber fit their body type. The right chamber size will enable the patients to undergo HBOT without any discomfort.
Are Oxygen Concentrators An Essential Add-on?
Oxygen concentrators are known to be useful accessories. These devices increase the rate of pure oxygen absorption in patients during an ongoing HBOT session, thereby augmenting the hyperbaric experience to the next level.
What Are The Standard Parameters Of Using A Hyperbaric Chamber?
- Patients of all age groups can use a hyperbaric chamber as long as a qualified medical professional specifies the duration of the therapy.
- Individuals can claim the HBOT costs from their health insurance providers only if their health afflictions are listed under the FDA-approved conditions.
Therefore, it is advisable for patients to seek approval from qualified hyperbaric experts before signing-up for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
These above-mentioned tips will aid individuals in choosing the best hyperbaric chamber for availing HBOT treatment in a safe and viable manner.