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Have you heard of the term HBOT?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is more than just a weird-sounding acronym. It’s a type of treatment that is used for speeding up healing. Undergoing this treatment means you will have to enter a special chamber to breathe in pure oxygen, with air pressure levels ranging from 1.5 to 3 times higher than average. 

 

You see, oxygen is fuel for your cells. Not only do we need it to breathe, we also need air for our body to work properly. And that’s how the treatment works: HBOT gives your body enough oxygen to repair any damaged tissues and to restore your normal body function.

 

The treatment can be from 1 to 2 hours, maximum. And while you’re in the chamber, you can read a book, listen to music, work or watch a movie on your laptop, or simply sleep. And what’s great about this treatment is that if you undergo it, there is no recovery time – perfect if you’re someone with a busy schedule. That’s probably why athletes like LeBron James and Michael Phelps use HBOT for their recovery. It’s effective and fast.

 

According to Hopkins Medicine, HBOT’s one of many early uses was in the 1940s. The U.S. Navy used hyperbaric oxygen to treat divers suffering from decompression sickness. In the 1960s, HBOT was also used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

While today, it’s still being used to treat decompression sickness and carbon monoxide poisoning, it has now been approved for plenty of other conditions. 

 

Are you now more intrigued? Ready to find out what you can treat with HBOT? Let’s dive into our list – no pun intended.

Plastic surgery-related conditions

If you have recently undergone plastic surgery, you may face many post-operative challenges that are quite similar to traditional surgery. Surgeries cause blood supply disruption that can result in ischemia, necrosis, infection, wound dehiscence, and excessive scarring. Not only that, you might also face specific ones that are unique to plastic surgery. 

 

But whether your plastic surgery is cosmetic or reconstructive, HBOT can aid in the healing process and shorten your recovery time by inducing new blood vessel growth. Many surgeons nowadays now recommend HBOT – both pre and post-surgery – to ensure better recovery time and healing.

 

Patients who have undergone HBOT after surgery have already enjoyed the following benefits:

 

  • Quicker healing because of better blood flow to tissue

  • Less scarring, bruising, and risk of infections

  • Reduced inflammation and swelling because of enhancement of anti-inflammatory proteins

  • Minimized pain and discomfort

  • Enhanced collagen production

Diabetes

Diabetes is a very serious condition. It has affected more than 12 million people in the world, and is actually even the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes primarily affects small blood vessels. If you or your loved one has diabetes, it would do you well to undergo HBOT. This therapy has been demonstrated to stimulate the growth of blood cells to help you with compromised blood flow and prevent organ failure.

 

Not only that, HBOT can lower your blood sugar levels by increasing your cells’ sensitivity to insulin and skeletal muscle reception of glucose. Recent reports have also shown evidence linking HBOT to increased insulin production of your body. You’ll also be able to prevent disabilities due to diabetes, as well as get faster healing of any ulcers that you may have.

Cerebral Palsy 

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a condition that affects 1 in 303 children in the U.S., with around 8,000 new cases every year. Many forms of CP are a result of lack of oxygen to the brain at birth. This tragic disorder affects movement, posture and other motor skills. Children who get it may need long-term care, making it possibly the most devastating motor disability in childhood. 

 

HBOT helps improve the condition of those suffering from CP. The affected brain tissue, or penumbra, can become better by introducing increased levels of oxygen. Multiple studies on HBOT have shown the following benefits:

 

  • Reduced effects of hypoxia on the newborn child’s brain and improves the recovery of the brain tissue

  • New neurons are formed in the brain

  • Helps against mitochondrial disorders

  • Helps the growth of cells and brain activity

 

Children who have CP but have undergone HBOT will have an improved chance of better cognitive function, as well as better motor and speaking skills. They will also have lesser muscle tightness and lesser frequency of seizures.

COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus has been a challenge, to say the least, for our healthcare system. It has overrun our hospitals and has a very high mortality rate within critical care facilities. While research is still continuing on this virus, early reports and anatomical findings do show that the main cause of deterioration of people with COVID-19 is progressive hypoxemia, or a below normal level of oxygen in the blood.

 

When treated with HBOT, patients feel a rapid relief of hypoxic symptoms with increased blood oxygen saturation as well as decreased chest pain. They also find breathing easier, and generally experience an improved condition. HBOT is also safe to use on patients who are strapped to mechanical ventilators, although it is better to use this therapy before the need for the ventilation. 

Benefits of HBOT: 

  • Rapid Relief of Hypoxic Symptoms

  • Decreased Chest Pain

  • Decreased Dyspnea (difficulty breathing). 

  • General Condition Reversal 

  • Improves Liver Function and Myocardial Injury 

  • Improved Lung Pathology

  • Gradual Improvement of Arterial Blood Gas

  • Increases blood oxygen saturation

  • Shown to be safe during mechanical ventilation

If we extrapolate these observations to the COVID-19 situation, an early intervention before the need for mechanical ventilation could be of extraordinary utility for saving lives. In this regard, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) that consists of exposure to 100% oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure up to 2.4 atm could be a great resource to improve the outcome from the infection when it is administered at early stages as soon as a reduction of arterial oxygen concentration is detected.

Other conditions that can be treated with HBOT

Aside from those mentioned above, you can treat the following:

 

  • Sport related injuries – for faster recovery

  • Inflammation – reduction 

  • TBI or brain injuries

  • Stroke – prevention and also faster recovery

  • Non-ideal motor function

  • Anemia

  • Cancer – for better protection

  • STEM cell activity – for improved production

  • General wounds/scars – for faster healing 

 

Precautions about HBOT

HBOT is generally safe, with very few complications that may occur, if any happen at all. Just like with any treatment, undergoing this particular therapy still carries some risks.  The most common complication after this therapy is trauma to the middle ear, including leaking fluid and even eardrum rupture, all due to the change in air pressure. You might also get eye damage like temporary nearsightedness as well as sinus problems.  And as much as we have been talking about its benefits, HBOT is not for everyone. If you have undergone recent ear surgery or trauma, you should not undergo HBOT. The same goes if you have a cold, sinus infection or fever. 

 

Your path to optimal health using HBOT – and other methods – starts here with us. Get in touch today!

List of conditions/HBOT benefits:

  • Sport related injuries and recovery

  • Reduce inflammation

  • TBI/brain injuries

  • Stroke prevention & recovery

  • Improve neurological function/enhance neurological repair and generation

  • Improve motor function

  • Improve blood chemistry profile

  • Improve anemia

  • Cancer prevention

  • Enhance STEM cell activity/production 

  • Wound/scar healing 

  • Post-surgical care

To schedule/book an appointment for a hyperbaric session or schedule a consultation call  631-372-3222.

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