Malignant conditions have plagued man ever since — especially nowadays when toxicity is rampant. People would try anything to treat, prevent, or reduce cellular damage. This demand gives birth to alternative methods and breakthroughs in modern healthcare.
Back in 1600 up to 1800, innovators tried to build pressurized medical chamber to treat a variety of conditions. One after another, scientists try to improve and update the concept of this so-called healing chamber.
It was in the 1940 when it was re-developed for a definite purpose, and this is for the treatment of deep-sea divers who suffered from decompression sickness. This was when the method was aptly named — Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Since then, physicians started to use hyperbaric chambers during heart and lung surgery; and other health related cases with resounding success.
The Science Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) involves breathing of 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Increased pressure allows your lungs to gather more oxygen and absorbed by all body cells at an expedited rate.
The increased level of oxygen in all body organs stimulates body’s innate ability to repair and regenerate damaged cells. In all other cases, it is an adjunctive treatment to enhance healing process in both chronic and acute conditions.
The typical treatment session usually lasts for 1 1/2 – 2 hours for about 20 – 40 sessions, depending on the diagnosis and objective.
Monoplace And Multiplace Hyperbaric Chambers
Which style of hyperbaric chamber is right for you?
Monoplace chambers are clear acrylic tubes where patients lie on their backs on a tray. Patients are not allowed to bring anything inside the chamber but they can look out and watch television. Once the door is locked, the chamber is pressurized with oxygen.
Multiplace chambers are big and 46 feet long. It has two large treatment compartments, which can treat up to eight patients at a time. Patients can walk into the chamber and sit in a large recliner chairs. The treatment is like of a business class airplane flight where patients can stand up, lie down, read and play games. It has its own private rest room too. The patient breathes oxygen through a hood.
- Stimulates circulating stem cells formation
- Regenerates blood vessels and capillaries
- Promotes new nerve growth in the brain
- Reduces tissue and bones inflammation after radiation therapy
- Heals wounds as in diabetic foot ulcer
- Increases blood oxygen to areas in the body where they are reduced due to infection or injury to speed up healing
- Boosts the efficiency of chemotherapy drugs thus slowing down cancer growth
Risk and Side Effects (very minimal though)
- Temporary nearsightedness (myopia), due to temporary eye lens changes
- Middle ear injury like fluid leaks and ear drum rupture, due to increased air pressure
- Lung collapse, due to air pressure changes
- Very rarely, oxygen toxicity that may result to seizure
- Claustrophobia to some patients
- Mild sinus discomfort
It is still advised to discuss with your doctor before you proceed to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This is necessary if you are pregnant.