Oxygen is vital to life. We cannot stop breathing for more than a few minutes. The body uses oxygen to generate energy, stay warm, fight infections, reduce inflammation, and build new tissues. In certain situations, a higher level of oxygen intake is necessary as a medical intervention. Patients are placed inside a hyperbaric chamber near me where they can do exactly this thanks to the increased air pressure. This type of therapy has been in use since the early 1900s with more applications being discovered every decade.
What a Hyperbaric Chamber Looks Like
The chamber is a large machine that can fit an adult. The top is usually a tube-like structure made from clear acrylic. Being in a transparent bubble allows the patient to see outside. It prevents the onset of anxiety due to claustrophobia while the treatment is ongoing. This is crucial since it can take hours for a session to finish. Before starting, patients should prepare by avoiding cigarettes, alcohol, and carbonated beverages. They should also refrain from using lotions, perfumes, or anything else with a strong smell. The doctor will ask the person to go inside and lie down in a comfortable position. Once the tube is closed, the air pressure will gradually ramp up.
Common Applications of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
HBOT is commonly used as a treatment for decompression sickness. This is a fatal condition that scuba divers need to be wary about. It often happens when divers ascend too fast because they panic underwater. For example, they might encounter dangerous creatures or see that their tank is running low on oxygen. The speed of ascent should fall between 9m and 18m per minute. Staying hydrated, diving conservatively, taking safety stops, using a smooth dive profile, refraining from alcohol, and avoiding dives when fatigued. It is also a good idea to maintain fitness so that the body can handle a greater amount of stress without breaking down.
The therapy may also be performed for carbon monoxide poisoning and cyanide poisoning to flush out the unwanted gasses. Another is arterial gas embolism or the presence of air bubbles within the blood vessels. If a patient has wounds that are not healing due to diabetes or other conditions, then HBOT might help by increasing the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. This can also repair the tissue damage from radiation therapy and promote the healing of compromised skin grafts. It may be recommended for those with severe anemia, brain abscess, crushing injuries, sudden vision loss, sudden deafness, and chronic bone inflammation.
Competent doctors must determine the suitability of each patient for this kind of treatment. More conditions may soon get better under a hyperbaric chamber but there is a need to conduct in-depth studies before making conclusions. HBOT is relatively safe but people will still need to be wary of potential side effects such as oxygen toxicity, temporary nearsightedness, ear fluid build-up, and lung issues. Provide a complete medical history for your doctors so that they can make the right decisions.